Medicare Wellness & Preventive Care Recommendations

Your overall wellness is important to us. Turning 65? The Medicare Wellness Visit is intended to give you and your care team time to talk about how you’re doing, find ways you can avoid illness and help you to stay feeling your best.

Your Medicare Wellness Visit

Medicare Wellness Logo Final

Turning 65? It is time for your free Medicare Wellness visit!

The Medicare Wellness Visit is intended to give you and your care team time to talk about how you’re doing, find ways you can avoid illness and help you to stay feeling your best.

Our Annual Wellness Team of registered nurses is reaching out to existing patients who are signed up for Medicare Part B coverage to schedule their first free Medicare Wellness visit.

  • While Medicare Part A coverage is automatic through the federal government, Medicare Part B coverage is optional and includes a premium. However, Medicare Part B coverage waives copays and deductibles for annual wellness visits.

Your Medicare Wellness Visit will last approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Please understand your visit will not include a ‘head-to-toe’ physical exam. If you need to be treated for current health problems, please call your primary care provider so we can schedule a separate appointment for you.

What should you bring to your appointment?

  • Your insurance card(s)
  • Completed forms in the packet you received in the mail
  • A bag with all your medications, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbals
  • Copies of advanced directives

At your visit, you will develop a partnership with the nurse and share life-long goals that you will discuss yearly, so you can stay healthy and independent for as long as possible!

Please contact your health care provider if you have questions or think you will need our help completing the paper forms enclosed in the packet mailed to you.

What free preventive services does Medicare cover?

Wellness visits

  • “Welcome to Medicare” physical exam – A one-time review of your health, education and counseling about preventive services, and referrals for other care if needed. You can only get this within 12 months of signing up for Medicare Part B.
  • “Annual Wellness Visit” – If you’ve had Part B for longer than 12 months, you can get a yearly wellness visit to develop or update a personalized prevention plan based on your current health and risk factors.

Free tests or screenings:

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening, a one-time screening for people at risk (family history of abdominal aortic aneurysms, or you’re a man between 65 and 75 who has ever smoked). Get a referral during your initial Medicare wellness exam
  • Alcohol misuse screening and counseling, which can be part of your Welcome to Medicare or Annual Wellness Visit
  • Bone mass measurement, or bone density test, which you can get every two years.
  • Cardiovascular disease screening, covered every five years, plus one behavior therapy visit per year (to discuss strategies with your doctor for lowering your cardiovascular disease risk)
  • Depression screening, once per year
  • DEXA scan
  • Diabetes screening, up to twice per year, for people at high risk of diabetes
  • Flu shots
  • Hepatitis B shots, if you are at medium or high risk
  • Hepatitis C screening test, for those at high risk whose doctor orders the test
  • HIV screening, every 12 months (for people older than 65, screening is only covered if the person is considered high risk)
  • Colorectal cancer screening, which may involve a fecal occult blood test, colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy and/or barium enema. The 20 percent coinsurance under Medicare Part B may apply if polyps are found and removed during the screening, and also if you have a barium enema as part of the colorectal cancer screening
  • Lung cancer screening for current and former smokers
  • Mammogram each year (screening only; diagnostic mammograms are detailed below, and do include some cost-sharing for the patient)
  • Nutrition therapy services for people who have diabetes, kidney disease, or who have had a recent kidney transplant
  • Obesity screening and counseling, for people with a BMI of 30 or more
  • Pap test and pelvic exam (including clinical breast exam) every two years, or more often if at high risk
  • Pneumococcal shot
  • PSA screening for prostate cancer (no charge for an annual PSA test, but the Medicare Part B deductible and coinsurance apply to a digital rectal exam)
  • Sexually transmitted infection screening and counseling. This includes screening tests for Chlamydia, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and Hepatitis B
  • Smoking cessation counseling

What is the difference between traditional Medicare and managed Medicare?

All Medicare plans help to pay for medical care but depending on which you agree to have, such as Aetna, Kaiser or traditional or “straight” Medicare, that plan will determine which benefits are available to you.

All plans offer different benefits, so review them carefully and compare them to each other to determine which works the best for you.

Wellness Recommendations for All Ages

Ages 18 to 49:

  • Annual office visit
  • Cervical cancer screening every 3 years starting at age 21 for those who have not had a partial or total hysterectomy until age 65
  • Annual depression screening
  • Annual blood pressure monitoring
  • Lipid screen every 10 years
  • STD screenings as recommended by provider
  • Annual tobacco use screening
  • Annual screen for healthy weight and exercise
  • Annual screen for alcohol abuse
  • Annual flu vaccine
  • Tetanus-diphtheria vaccine every 10 years

Ages 50 to 79:

  • Aortic aneurysm screening, if there is a history of smoking
  • Breast cancer screening every 2 years, or as recommend by provider
  • Colon cancer screening: Talk with your provider about the best method for you
  • Osteoporosis screening starting at 65 years old or older, as recommended by provider
  • Annual depression screening
  • Annual blood pressure monitoring
  • Lipid screen every 10 years
  • STD screenings as recommended by provider
  • Annual tobacco use screening
  • Annual healthy weight and exercise
  • Annual screen for alcohol abuse
  • Welcome to Medicare preventive exam: Within 12 months after eligibility date for Part B benefits
  • Annual Wellness Visit – Medicare covers once every 12 months
  • Annual flu vaccine
  • Tetanus-diphtheria vaccine every 10 years
  • Shingles vaccine for 50 and older (2-dose series)
  • Pneumococcal vaccine

The specific care you need might be different based on your health history and risk factors. If you have chronic conditions, you might need additional tests and immunizations. You should talk to your health care team to find out what is right for you, or if you have questions about the recommendations.

Additional Wellness Resources at Mason Health:

Mental Health and Wellness:

Patients can connect with our behavioral health providers through a referral from their primary care provider. Our behavioral health providers offer the following services:

  • Patient and family education
  • Goal planning
  • Medication management and education
  • Assistance with connecting to community services

Learn more at Behavioral Health & COVID-19 Wellness or ask your primary care provider for a referral.

Care Management:

Our care managers work with patient to provide education and management for chronic diseases. They also help patients identify and overcome barriers to fulfilling their care needs, and support you in becoming an active participant in your own health care. Contact your primary care provider for a referral.


Care Managers Sarah Fulkerson and Stacy Bonin, RN with a patient

Cancer Navigation:

Our patient navigator will work with you and your family to maximize your health experience. Learn more at Cancer Navigation.

Diabetes Wellness Services:

Our Diabetes Prevention Program includes individual or small group instruction, as well as monthly support groups and other educational programs. For more information, call the Diabetes Wellness Center at 360-427-7332.

Community Health Worker:

Mason Health has a Community Health Worker dedicated to connecting patients with health care and social services. They can also help patients prioritize their goals. Call 360-968-9026 or (360) 432-3296 for more information.

Peer Navigator:

Our Peer Navigator can work with you on substance or alcohol misuse issues. Call 360-485-2513 for more information.

Have You Had Your Flu Shot This Year?

Learn More About Medicare Wellness