What is a Physical/Well Check?

A Physical, or Well Check, is a basic review of your systems. It is also known as a preventive visit. This is different than a regular office visit which is considered a problem oriented visit by your insurance company. A Physical consists of a height, weight, body mass index review, and may also include a simplistic review of cholesterol, blood pressure and/or diabetes or other specific examination based on your age and sex. An appointment is made specifically for a Physical and in most cases; we cannot combine such a visit with a problem oriented visit or a follow up visit. Preventive examinations, as defined by most insurance companies, do not allow us to discuss in detail problems or health issues that may be found during the exam. Any such discussion may lead the insurance company to decide that a problem oriented visit had also occurred. This may include instances when a controlled health issue such as high cholesterol or diabetes requires additional lab work and/or a new prescription. If your insurance company covers a preventive exam, you will be financially responsible for any portion it deems as problem oriented or not covered as part of your preventive exam. The National Institute of Health recommends two Physicals during their 20’s for individuals between 18-39 years old. For individuals between 40-65 years old, a Physical is recommended every 1 to 5 years. For individuals 65 and older, a Physical is recommended once a year. Some employers require annual physicals.

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