Health & Wellness

Guest Column

The Medicare Annual Wellness Visit


Is the AWV visit a physical? How much will it cost me?

If you have traditional Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, you are eligible for a specific type of visit without any out-of-pocket cost called the Annual Wellness Visit (AWV).

During this visit, your primary care provider will address your preventive care needs such as vaccinations, risk assessments, and screenings. They will also provide you with a written plan for continued wellness.

Sign Up for E-News

However, it is important to remember:

  • The AWV is limited to prevention and does not include a physical exam or cover active medical conditions. 

    At Summit Medical Group (SMG), we believe good care is comprehensive care. Our physicians want to address any chronic medical problems or new complaints that you may have at the same time as your AWV. We call this visit: 

The Comprehensive Care Visit (CCV) because it treats your active medical needs at the same time as your preventive AWV.

For example, if you have difficulty sleeping or are experiencing back pain, your provider will not diagnose or treat these issues during your AWV. However, with the CCV, your physician will perform a brief exam and address any of your ongoing medical concerns including diabetes or arthritis.

Even though Medicare does not cover a physical exam, you can still get comprehensive care. The AWV is limited to preventive services. However, Medicare does allow your doctor to address other issues during the same visit with a CCV. When a CCV is added to the AWV, you are only responsible for a copayment or coinsurance similar to any other visit to the doctor.

When it comes to your health and well-being, your primary care provider is your partner. Schedule your comprehensive visit, which includes the AWV and CCV, today. If you have already scheduled a follow-up visit or physical, ask your provider to include the AWV at no additional cost to you.

What does the AWV include?

  • Review of medical, surgical, and family history
  • Measurement of height, weight, temperature, pulse, and blood pressure
  • Assessments for depression, risk of falls, and memory problems
  • Screens for prescriptions and over-the-counter drug interactions
  • Recommendations for immunizations, such as the flu or pneumovax shots, and health screenings, such as colonoscopy or mammogram
  • A written preventative plan is provided at the end of the visit that outlines next steps for continued wellness

Medicare covers AWV without any out-of-pocket cost to you.

What does the CCV include?

  • A physical exam
  • Management of acute and/or chronic conditions including back pain, allergies, difficulty sleeping, mental health concerns, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, or heart palpitations
  • Referrals for laboratory or imaging tests
  • Follow-up with a specialty physician if required

When the CCV visit is part of the AWV you will be responsible for the copayment or coinsurance as with any other doctor’s visit.

For more information about the prevention and wellness services covered by Medicare, please visit

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Warren Township to Collect Winter Storm Quinn Tree Debris

March 15, 2018

WARREN, NJ - The Department of Public Works of Warren Township will be collecting tree and brush debris from all Warren Township residents in the aftermath of Winter Storm Quinn.

Due to the intense effects of Storm Quinn that impacted Warren Township on March 7, the Township Committee has authorized and directed the DPW to. begin the collection process ...

Somerset County Opens Emergency Shelter for Storm Victims at RVCC

BRANCHBURG, NJ – Due to the extended power outages in Somerset County as a result of Winter Storm Quinn and the expected cold temperatures over the next few days, the Somerset County Office of Emergency Management has partnered with the American Red Cross to open a shelter for county residents at Raritan Valley Community College.

The shelter opened as of 5:30 p.m. Saturday, ...

Update from Warren Office of Emergency Management on Saturday, Mar. 10

WARREN, NJ - The Warren Township Office of Emergency Management has provided a timeline and Jane Asch at Warren’s Office of Emergency Management has updated storm recovery information as of 1 p.m. Saturday, March 10 with the following:



The most pressing issue is restoration of power. It may be helpful to understand the triage system both JCP&L and ...

Storm Watch: Closings, Cancellations and Postponements

WARREN, NJ - The snow has started to fall. The National Weather Service is forecasting as much as 8 to 12 inches of snow to accumulate across the northern half of New Jersey and Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency.

The Warren Township Municipal Building and the Warren Library are closed today, Wednesday, Mar. 7 due to the storm. Watchung Borough offices and ...

Save the Date Warren for WHRHS Spring Musical ‘Guys and Dolls’

WARREN, NJ– The 2018 Spring Musical, “Guys and Dolls,” will be performed at 7 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 22, 23, and 24, and at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 24, in the Watchung Hills Regional High School (WHRHS) Performing Arts Center.

The general public is invited to join with students, staff, parents and families at one or more of the ...

Center for Great Expectations Celebrating 20th Anniversary

March 16, 2018

SOMERSET, NJ - The Center for Great Expectations, a non-profit organization, is celebrating 20 years of providing substance use and mental health treatment for women and adolescents who are homeless, pregnant or parenting.

According to a release, the goals of the program are to guide women through their pregnancies, ensure proper care, increase the likelihood of a healthy baby and provide the ...

Junior League's Career Closet Celebrates Women's History Month

On March 20th, The Junior League of Elizabeth Plainfield’s Career Closet and the Alliance of Career Development Nonprofits will host a celebratory event from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm at the Jumble Store 110 Walnut Avenue, Cranford, New Jersey in honor of Women’s History Month.  Registration for the event must be by referral from our local community partners and government agencies. To ...


South Plainfield – Joanne Gallo, 68, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL and Warren, NJ, passed away ...
Read more

AAA Cautions: Daylight Saving Could Affect Daily Commute

March 10, 2018

WARREN, NJ - AAA is reminding drivers that the change to Daylight Saving Time may create distractions on the roadway and challenges for drivers who lost an hour of sleep. Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday at 2 a.m.

“As we spring forward, drivers should be aware that the time change will also mean changes to driving habits,” said Robert Sinclair, Manager of Media ...

Fairytale Marriage Proposal Takes Center Stage at St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 17, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – A surprise engagement took center stage at last weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Somerville. In the midst of the March 11 festivities, Piscataway resident Steven Verardi boarded a float and popped the question to his girlfriend Elise Latona, marking the first known engagement to take place at the parade in 27 years.

Since opening The Beauty Bar ...

Somerset County Student Escorted from School; Loaded Gun Found in Backpack

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - A 17-year-old high school student was escorted from school yesterday by police who found a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol in his back pack along with narcotics, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Robertson said the initial investigation by law enforcement revealed that there were no known threats to the students or faculty; he commended the ...

Somerville: Students Make a Statement about School Safety and Eulogize Florida Shooting Victims

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Hundreds of Somerville High School students participated in the National School Walkout Wednesday morning to pay their respects to the 17 victims of last month’s mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. and to draw attention to the issue of students' safety while in school.

The students gathered outdoors on the track in front ...

Danielsen Holds First in Series of Marijuana Hearings

SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ - Lifelong Franklin resident, Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (D-17 Middlesex/Somerset), chairman of the Assembly Oversight, Reform, and Federal Relations Committee is leading discussions regarding legalized marijuana in New Jersey. 

Danielsen's committee heard testimony for several hours regarding the impact of expanding legalized marijuana Monday, March 5.

Local Travel Ideas for St. Patrick’s Day - Calm Family Events to Drinking Shots from...Nevermind

March 17, 2018

St. Patrick’s Day is coming upon us even faster than St. Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland.  Here are some of the areas great events to celebrate Irish pride.

March 17 Events

Hoboken - The Nerds at Willie McBride’s (see poster up in the slide show)

Newton - Sober St. Patrick’s Day Gathering

Newton (parade) - Sussex County St. Patrick's Day ...

After a Couple Painful Travel Days the New York City Area Airports Are Returning to Normal

After a couple of difficult travel days, the local airports are returning to normal.  The FAA is reportin only 10 to 15 minute delays.  Allow extra times for the commute to the airport and you should be fine.

Just keep these ideas and links fresh in mind for future travels.  You may even want to bookmark the page for future reference.

Most Airlines now offer ...

Air Travel Disruptions - Newark and Laguardia Airports Are Reporting Delays of 1 to 2 Hours.

The weather continues to play havoc on local air travel.  Newark is reporting average delays of 1 hour 41 minutes and LaGuardia is experiencing 59 minute delays.

Most Airlines now offer APP, text, or email updates to flight delays.  Make sure to sign up for them.  That will be your fastest way to get notifications. Also, make sure to ...

St. Patrick’s Day Sobriety Check in Belmar/Neptune Area on Tap by State Police

March 17, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — Giving no details on location and time, New Jersey State Police plans to conduct a sobriety checkpoint on Saturday, March 17 in the area of Belmar and Neptune Township,

The state police made the announcement on its Facebook page, alerting motorists that state troopers will be pulling over vehicles at this undisclosed location and time  “looking for signs of ...