Welcome To Medicare Physical Exam

Why Should I do the Physical Exam?

When you join the Medicare program, one of the aspects of the program that you will have to join will be the preventive services that can help improve health, catch diseases before they become progressive and give advice on how to stay healthy. The first phase of getting involved in these preventive services is the Initial Preventive Physical Exam, also known as the IPPE. This is the exam that Medicare uses to get you initially set up on the program and establishes all of your preliminary health information. It helps to set baselines for your current health situation that the doctor and Medicare can use to monitor your progress.

What Does the Physical Exam Include?

The exam is a complete physical that is covered by Medicare. It includes standard examinations to check your blood pressure, your vision, your height and your weight. You are also either given an EKG to check your heart either on the spot or the doctor gives you a referral to have an EKG scheduled at a Medicare-approved facility. The doctor will make a full record of your current medical condition and will also review your history on inoculations. If you require any shots, then the doctor will provide them and make a note of it. The final part of the examination consists of the doctor introducing you to the preventative care services Medicare has to offer and then making suggestions on which services you would best benefit from.

How Will the Exam Help Me?

This "welcome to Medicare" exam is extremely comprehensive. When you have a very comprehensive examination, it allows your doctor and Medicare to detect any conditions that may be developing and recommend treatment immediately. It is not uncommon for you to feel perfectly healthy but have a potentially dangerous condition developing. The tests in this exam help to analyze your heart, your eyes, your ears and any other part of your body where a dangerous condition could be starting. If the tests come back that indicate a potential problem, your doctor will work with Medicare to get you further testing and treatment.

Should I Have My Medical Profile With Me?

It is also a good idea to have a comprehensive medical profile with your doctor as a way of gauging your future health conditions. When your doctor has a comprehensive medical profile of your condition, he can then compare that to future examinations to monitor your progress and determine if any treatment is required for future health changes.

How Do I Benefit From the Exam?

In order to benefit from the results of having the "welcome to Medicare" exam, you must schedule it immediately. You have up to 12 months to take the exam from the day you sign up for Medicare Part B. If you do not take the exam within 12 months, then you will have to pay for the exam yourself. It is important to remember that full physicals are much different than a standard doctor appointment. Most doctors only do physicals at certain times, and if you wait to schedule your appointment then you may not get one scheduled within the first 12 months.

Physical Exam Costs

The charges for this physical examination are subject to the same guidelines as any other service or supply covered by Medicare. You are always responsible for your Medicare deductible. Once the deductible is paid, you will be responsible for 20 percent of the exam charges. Complete and comprehensive physicals can be extremely expensive. This coverage from Medicare allows you to create a comprehensive medical profile for a reasonable price. Remember that you can get supplemental insurance that will help to pay for the 20 percent you would be responsible for.

What Should I do Before the Exam?

You have your own set of responsibilities to take care of before you come to the "welcome to Medicare" physical examination. The first thing you need to do is to get your medical records together to bring to your doctor. This includes all of your past surgeries, immunizations and any medications you have taken. Your doctor may already have your medical profile, which will save you from having to take this step.

As part of your medical profile, your doctor will need to know your family medical history to try and trace down any potential conditions you could experience or to better understand why you may experience medical issues in the future. The more comprehensive of a family medical history you can provide, the better it is for the doctor. Ask your parents and grandparents if there are any family medical conditions that you should be aware of and that you should bring to the doctor's attention.

What About My Current Prescriptions and Medications?

Another thing you will need to bring to the exam is a list of the current prescription and over the counter medications that you have been taking. You should make a note of how often you take them, how many you take and why you are taking them. This is information that the doctor will need to create a comprehensive medical profile for you and to understand if you may have medications causing current medical problems.

Should I Contact My Doctor Before the Exam?

Prior to your examination, you should contact your doctor to find out if there is anything else he would need you to bring to develop a comprehensive medical profile. It is all a part of developing your brand new Medicare profile.