Many people already have a doctor they know, trust, and will keep visiting. This is a primary care physician. This person, or team, is your go-to when you are feeling ill or in need of an annual exam. When it is time to initially enroll in a Medicare plan or switch Medicare coverage, making sure your current doctors are covered is crucial.
Get the most out of your coverage
If you already have a primary care physician, you’re aware of the benefits. The consistency of seeing the same team each time you go for a visit, saving the time you would spend trying to find a reputable doctor in your area, and having a point-person to keep track of any and all medications you are taking is invaluable. But are you taking advantage of all the benefits of a primary care physician?
Medicare offers a yearly “wellness” visit for those who have been on Medicare Part B for at least one year. These visits are 100% covered by your Medicare provider. This visit differs from a yearly physical, and offers:
- Review of medical history
- Updating a list of prescriptions
- Routine measurements (height, weight, blood pressure, etc.)
- Cognitive impairment detection
- Risk factors and treatment options
- Personalized healthcare advice.
What about referrals?
If you need to see a specialist for a more serious matter, having a primary care physician can help you find a great specialist that is already in your network. Getting a referral from your primary doctor will help make sure you aren’t paying extra costs out-of-pocket when you need more specialized care. In addition, being referred to a new doctor by a physician you trust can help put you at ease when seeing a specialist.
Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)
Medicare Annual Enrollment Period runs each year from October 15 to December 7. What is the Annual Enrollment Period vs. Open Enrollment Period?
Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)
Your Initial Enrollment Period generally surrounds your 65th birthday but may occur if you otherwise become eligible for Medicare for the first time.
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