Letter to the Editor: Medicare and Annual Physicals

Letter to the Editor: Medicare and Annual Physicals

Ever play the game, “Mother May I” when you were a kid?  Mother May I take one giant step   No, you may take two baby steps.

Well, don’t play that game with Medicare and use the wrong words.  It can cost you money and maye your health!

I’ve gotten what I call an “Annual Physical” every year for decades.  I loved the way the little hammer made my knee jump.  Never could understand what those thumps on my chest and back were suppose to do but they were part of the whole package.  And, I always felt relieved when the doctor shined that pointy flashlight in my ear and no crop growth was discovered. I did try to memorize the eye chart but I couldn’t pronounce any of those words.

These simple tests combined to provide a snapshot of my health. But, in recent years the exam has gotten less and comprehensive covering far fewer specifics than it did.  I haven’t seen the little hammer or the flashlight.  Shoot, I haven’t even heard the dreaded snap of a rubber glove for years.

I just learned why.  There is a the difference between, “An Annual Physical Exam” and ” A Medicare Wellness Visit.”  The AARP website says an Annual Physical Exam is the one where, “They actually lay hands on your body!”

From everything I read the Medicare Wellness Visit, complete with it’s own acronym, (MWV) is just a little chat between you and your doctor.  While blood work is usually taken other tests are generally NOT performed.

Medicare will pay for the chat but not a full exam.  I guess they want to wait until I have something before they authorize “the laying of hands on me.”

I take my car in for an oil change and without asking they perform a Twelve Point check covering every system on the car!  They say it’s to identify any potential problems down the road.
Maybe I should have the garage mechanics take over my healthcare.
They even provide a free car wash!
Fred Cooper
Port St. Lucie
Thanks to Fred for taking the time to write!

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