Report: Seniors Don't Take Advantage Of Medicare Annual Wellness Visit

Julia Little  |  April 27, 2012

Medicare provides a number of different benefits for seniors, but those who are not well-versed in the program may not be taking advantage of all the benefits, according to a recent study.

A recent poll by the John Hartford Foundation found that 68 percent of seniors had never even heard of the "Annual Wellness Visit," even though it is a free service provided to all those who have been on Medicare Part B for a year or more.

The wellness visit is a free consultation with a healthcare professional about the senior's needs. The doctor can go over things like pharmaceutical regimens, risk factors, avoiding falls and other important information related to senior care. The annual visit is included as part of Medicare, although any follow-up tests or consultations would be subject to copayments and deductibles.

"The Annual Wellness Visit represents a wonderful chance for doctors and patients to work together to make these proven preventive services an important part of their care plan," said Christopher Langston of the Hartford Foundation. "We urge all older people and their healthcare providers to take advantage of it and to have these important conversations."

Assisted living facilities may provide more regular health consultations of a similar nature for residents that have health issues.

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