Regular meetings with your primary care provider are important to ensure good health. Many people believe if they are healthy, they can skip their annual wellness visit, but that is not the case. If your health is important to you, wellness exams should be too.
A wellness exam is a type of preventative healthcare that focuses on maintaining wellness and stopping health problems before they occur. Rather than waiting for a health issue to arise, you visit your provider to make sure you’re still in good health, or to catch health problems in early stages. Wellness exams are usually annual and are separate from other medical visits related to illness or injury.
Wellness exams are typically covered by insurance, however your insurance might not cover all expenses involved with the visit, such as labs or tests. Most insurance plans will pay for one wellness exam each year, so you’ll want to take advantage of this. Insurance plans and coverage vary, so check with your policy.
Wellness visits basically provide your provider with a status update on your overall health. They can guide you to make choices promoting better health, and they can detect health problems early.
These visits may include:
- A physical examination
- Checking your vitals
- Checking BMI
- Examination of personal and family medical histories
- Discussion of current lifestyle and health choices
- Shots and immunizations
- Establishing a plan for your health
Screenings may vary depending on your age, risk, and gender. During your wellness exam you may receive screening for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, mammogram, osteoporosis, STDs, or pap test.
Your doctor may ask you about any stress you may be under, your physical activity, diet, or drug use such as tobacco and alcohol. Much of the exam is discussion about steps to improve overall health through lifestyle and healthy decision making. Be honest and straightforward in your answers — complete information helps you and your provider work together for the best outcome.
It’s important to tell your provider about any health concerns or problems during your wellness visit. Starting conversation about your health improves the quality of your healthcare. Be sure to write down any questions you have for your provider before your visit.
Annual wellness visits are essential to maintaining good health and with many insurance plans, they are covered with no copays. Check with your plan for how often you qualify for a wellness visit.