In order to schedule a wellness visit my new doctor required a preliminary office visit to discuss my history and review prior testing (mammograms, etc). There was a charge of about $200 for this office visit. So I could not get a free wellness checkup without spending this $200 first. Why is this preliminary visit NOT free and included in the wellness checkup?


Everyone gets one free preventive visit a year, other visits are subject to cost sharing, you may owe the full amount for a visit not coded correctly. If your doctor "required" a visit before the free preventive visit... well that is just a little mean. The free wellness visit is supposed to be an annual checkup and a time to discuss and review history and preventive medicine.  On the plus side your doctor got paid twice! That is really awesome for them! We know doctors charging $200 an office visit are the most likely of all Americans to struggle and need that extra buck.

It would have probably been more thoughtful of your doctor to do the covered visit and then take care of anything that didn't fit in a follow up if need be. Remember, your doctor isn't your boss. If they make some wacky suggestion that isn't covered under your insurance, you can tell them no and/or find another doctor. The truth is, your doctor isn't always thinking about your costs or what your insurance will cover. When in doubt get on the phone with the insurer or have the doctors office do it.

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