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Know Your Medicare Options

The Differences Between the 3 Types


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If you’re a newly enrolled Medicare user, navigating the different benefit options could be confusing. Luckily, there are easy breakdowns all over the web available in the form of visual charts or more academic explanations. If you’re looking for an even more user friendly breakdown, you’ve come to the right place! We’re briefly covering the three options you need to know regarding your Medicare provider.


Initial Preventive Physical Examination (IPPE)

The initial preventive physical examination (IPPE) is commonly referred to as the “welcome” visit. This service focuses on health promotion and disease prevention rather than an extensive physical exam. It highlights improvement in patient care, payment opportunities, and is only available to the beneficiary in the first twelve months. During the visit, the provider will go over your height, weight, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), and family medical history. They may even perform an ECG (Electrocardiogram).


Initial Annual Wellness Visit (AWV)

The initial AWV is a one time benefit for Medicare Part B beneficiaries who are not within the first twelve months of their coverage. Like the IPPE, this is not a physical exam, but a routine assessment of the patient’s overall wellbeing. All AWV’s include a personalized prevention plan of service (PPPS). While the information dealt with in the AWV is very similar to the IPPE, there is one major difference. This type of visit contains the HRA (health reimbursement arrangement). Considered a group health plan, the HRA reimburses employees for qualified medical expenses. So far not many major differences apart from this one!


Subsequent Annual Wellness Visit

Subsequent AWV’s are offered yearly for the patient to update their PPPS. Similar to the IPPE and initial AWV, weight and blood pressure will be checked as well as cognitive health. During this visit, you will update your medical providers and suppliers as well as your family history. This visit is the one that you will have repeatedly, whereas the other two are limited to just one time. Don’t let the differences in the three types fool you, they’re all pretty similar and simple once broken down!


Going over the steps with your Medicare provider is the most important when getting familiar with your options. Think of these three types as steps in information updates and simple health check ins. They’re like real checkups but less involved and available for the purpose of maintaining or changing information. As the years go by, your medical needs may change. Don’t be confused when the acronyms change as the visits are very similar. As always, feel free to ask your provider any questions. They will be happy to provide a more detailed explanation regarding special requirements or further plans!


Contact our office at Maryland Primary Care for immediate assistance regarding your Medicare coverage!

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