Did you know that your health insurance plan covers you for one completely free wellness exam per year? According to healthcare.gov, a well-woman visit can include 16 specific preventive services for women and another 12 preventive services for pregnant women or women who may become pregnant… things like shots, disease screening, education and counseling.
It’s Really Free?
Yes! If you have Medicare or a health insurance plan obtained through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you are entitled to one free wellness exam per year from a doctor or provider in your plan’s network.
You Don’t Have to Be Sick to See a Doctor.
Our internal medicine providers at St. Thomas Medical Group are here for you when you get sick. But we also love seeing you when you’re healthy! Why? By getting the chance to visit with you when you’re healthy, we can build a relationship and establish a knowledge of your “baseline wellness.” That way, if you do get sick in the future, we have better context and knowledge about you. We may know something about your family history or personal medical history that could allow us to provide better, more accurate care. A well-woman visit is a great opportunity for establishing that “baseline wellness” with your doctor.
So, What Happens In the Well-Woman Visit?
We’ll use this appointment to look at your overall health and wellness. During this time we’ll document your health habits and history, perform a physical exam, and talk with you about your health goals.
#1 Health Habits & History
First we’ll open up with a discussion about your health and history. Things like…
- Medical history and family health history
- Sexual health and sexual partners
- Eating habits and physical activity
- Use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
- Mental health history, including depression
- Relationships and safety
#2 Physical Exam
Then, we’ll move to the physical exam portion of the well-woman visit, which may include:
- Measuring your height and weight
- Calculating your body mass index (BMI) to see if you are at a healthy weight
- Checking your blood pressure
- Taking your temperature
- Doing a clinical breast exam (feeling your breasts and under your arms for lumps or other changes)
- Doing a pelvic exam
- Pap smear (if it is due for your regular interval)
- Birth control and contraception management
#3 Health Goals
Finally, we’ll talk about your health goals. If you want to lose weight or quit smoking, we can work together to develop a plan that will help you achieve that goal. We can also talk about what screenings or follow-up services might be appropriate for you. This is your chance to take action with your health!
How Can I Prepare for My Well-Woman Exam?
You can make the most of this appointment by coming prepared with a list of questions. Go ahead and write them down as you may not remember all of your questions during the appointment! Ready to schedule? Make your appointment online, or call +1 (615) 297-2700.