What it is
During the first year that you have Medicare Part B, you can get a one-time exam that will help you prevent illness.
The exam will give you a full review of your health. It will teach you about the preventive services you need to stay well, like certain screenings and shots. Your doctor can also refer you to other professionals for other health care.
During the exam, your doctor will record your medical history and check your blood pressure, weight and height. Your doctor may give you a vision test and make sure that your shots are up to date.
He or she may order further tests if you need them. Your doctor will tell you how to prevent disease, improve your health or stay well. You also will get a written plan when you leave. This checklist will let you know which screenings you should get.
Why it is important
This exam is a great way to get the important screenings and shots you need. You also can talk with your doctor about your family history. Then your doctor can tell you how to stay healthy.
Who is covered
The “Welcome to Medicare” exam is covered for anyone whose Medicare Part B coverage began on or after January 1, 2005.
How often it is covered
This exam is covered once within the first year that you have Part B.
What you pay
You pay nothing for cost of the exam if you have Original Medicare and you see a doctor who “accepts assignment.” Doctors who accept assignment agree to accept the amount that Medicare will pay for a visit or service (called the Medicare-approved amount) as payment in full.
If you are in a Medicare Advantage plan, the plan cannot charge you for this service as long as you see an “in-network” provider, meaning a doctor who has an agreement to treat people who belong to the plan. If you use a provider outside your plan's network, it may cost you money.
Note: You may have to pay for some costs in either Original Medicare or in a Medicare Advantage plan if your doctor does other tests or procedures during this visit that are not included as part of the exam. Talk with your doctor.
Learn more about the “Welcome to Medicare” exam on Medicare.gov.