Going to the doctor's office can be a frustrating experience. You have to compare your personal schedule with your doctor's availability, physically get to the office, and then finally wait — sometimes a long time. Wouldn't it be nice if you could somehow bring your doctor to you?
If you're enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan or Original Medicare, you may qualify for a service that's designed to help you review your health right in your home. It's called an in-home health assessment.
What's an in-home health assessment?
An in-home health assessment is a one-on-one appointment with a licensed health care professional (like a doctor or nurse practitioner) that takes place in your home. During your meeting, you might discuss:
- Your previous medical history
- Any medication you're currently taking, especially how to take the medication safely
- Your day-to-day activity and personal health needs
Depending on what type of Medicare plan you have, or which plan you choose to enroll in, a "welcome to Medicare" in-home health assessment may be available to you. You can always call your plan for specific details around what it offers for in-home health assessments.
A "Welcome to Medicare" preventive visit
If you've enrolled in Medicare (Part B) within the past 12 months, either through an MA plan or Original Medicare, you may be eligible for a one-time "Welcome to Medicare" at no extra cost. This type of in-home health assessment is all about taking stock of your health history and making sure you're prepared for the future. This can include:
- Health screenings, flu shots, and referrals for additional care
- Height, weight, and blood pressure measurements
- A calculation of your body mass index
- A simple vision test
- A review of your potential risk for depression and your level of safety
- Information on advance directives
After this visit, you'll receive a written summary of everything you went over, including details about any screenings, shots, or preventive services you may need.
Why get an in-home health assessment?
An in-home health assessment is all about being better in tune with your own health and personal needs. You may discover important aspects of your health that you never even thought about before. This can help you feel more prepared for your next doctor appointment. You can even show your doctor the written summary from your in-home health assessment, or request that a copy be sent after your assessment.
Scheduling an in-home health assessment is pretty convenient, too. If you have plans during the week, you may be able to schedule an assessment on the weekend. Checking up on your health may not be something you look forward to, but an in-home health assessment makes it easier. If you haven't received an in-home health assessment and want to schedule one, you can call your plan to learn what's offered.