Checking Up on Your Health with Annual Health Exam

Checking Up on Your Health with Annual Health Exam

Whether it’s getting your annual wellness visit or having your cholesterol checked, you need to keep up with your health screenings, which play a big role in catching small health problems before they become big ones.

Add to your to-do list to make sure you have gotten all of your annual health exams. If you still need some of these tests, schedule a visit with your doctor now. Doctor office appointments fill up as the end of the year looms.

Here are a few health exams to think about getting between now and the end of the year:

Annual Wellness Visit* 

If you’ve had Medicare Part B for longer than 12 months, you can get an annual wellness visit. During your annual wellness visit, your doctor may:

  • Review your health and family history.
  • Measure your height, weight, blood pressure and vision.
  • Update a list of your current medications.
  • Talk about your lifestyle, abilities and needs such as weight loss, fall prevention and eating habits.

If you're a Blue Cross Medicare Advantage member, you may be able to earn a reward for getting an annual wellness exam and other health screenings.

Some screenings you should talk about with your doctor:

  • Bone density exam* - This is a test for osteoporosis, or weak bones. The results can help your doctor make recommendations based on your risk factors.
  • A1c test - This is used to diagnose Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, as well as to check how well you’re taking care of your diabetes.
  • Colorectal screening*- Also known as a stool test, this is used to spot colorectal polyps or cancer. Your doctor may want to do a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy every few years, as well. These tests use a scope to check your colon health.
  • Mammogram - This is an important tool for spotting breast cancer.
  • Eye exam* - Problems with the eyes (macular degenerationcataracts, and glaucoma) become more common as people age. Testing may help keep your vision or show warning signs of problems. Talk with your doctor about how often you need to have your eyes checked. 
  • Hearing exam - Loss of hearing can make it hard to hear alarms and doorbells, understand conversations and more. If you’re having trouble hearing, talk to your doctor about getting your hearing tested.
  • Cholesterol screening - As a major cause of heart attacks and strokes, cholesterol levels should be checked from time to time, mainly if your levels are already high or you have known risks. Talk with your doctor about how often you need to look at your cholesterol levels.
  • Aneurysm screening - Men between the ages of 65 and 75 who are former smokers should have a one-time screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) by ultrasound.  

Talk with your doctor about these and any other screenings you may need to add into your annual prevention plan. And don’t forget to read up on the Rewards and Incentives program if you are a Blue Cross Medicare Advantage member.

Sources: What is an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?, WebMD.

*Certain healthy actions may earn you a reward.

Registration is required to participate. Visit   to register and see what Healthy Actions earn rewards. Maximum annual rewards of $100 in gift cards. One reward per Healthy Action per year. Healthy Action dates of service must be in the current plan year.  Healthy Actions that earn rewards are subject to change.

Important Plan Information


Originally published October 27, 2016; Revised 2020