The Key to Positive Outcomes: Annual Wellness Visits

March 11, 2022

Some cancers are survivable if caught early. Prediabetes may be reversible with lifestyle changes to avoid diabetes. Making small changes early on can reverse some forms of heart disease. The key to more positive outcomes is early intervention and prevention strategies, often before a person has or recognizes disease-related symptoms. An annual wellness visit (AWV) provides you and your doctor an opportunity to discuss your current risk for illness and injury and develop a preventive plan of action. Your AWV may include health assessments and medical history, screenings and routine measurements, and a plan to help you prevent disease and improve your health.

Health Assessments and Medical History

You and your doctor will discuss your health and medical history to determine your illness risk. You may be asked to fill out a health risk assessment (HRA), a questionnaire that covers topics such as nutrition, fitness, stress, sleep and mental health, as well as biometric information such as blood pressure and cholesterol. You may also review your family history, current medications and your other doctors. Together, this information can help you and your doctor determine your chances of developing specific illnesses such as diabetes or heart disease.

Screenings and Routine Measurements

Screenings and routine measurements can provide indicators of your current level of health. You may have your height, weight and blood pressure measured to help your doctor determine your physical health. Depression screenings can help your doctor assess your mental health, while cognitive impairment assessments help your doctor check for diseases such as Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Other screenings may be recommended based on your age, sex or stage of life.

A Plan to Help Prevent Disease and Improve Health

Using the information gathered about your health, history and illness risk, you and your doctor will develop a plan to help you maintain or improve your health. This plan could include recommendations to change your eating and drinking habits and strategies to obtain and maintain a healthy weight. It may include referrals to specialists for additional screenings (e.g., mammograms for certain women). Your plan may also include vaccination and medication recommendations to help you prevent or treat disease.

AWVs, as well as in-network routine preventive care services and the related office visit for routine preventive care services, are covered, subject to the terms, conditions and limitations of your specific healthcare plan. Not all healthcare plans will cover all preventive services at 100%, so be sure to consult your Certificate of Coverage for details. Blue KC members can find their Certificate of Coverage on, or by calling the customer service number on their member ID card.