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Use and knowledge of the new enrollee "welcome to Medicare" physical examination benefit.
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MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19544936     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) is a large survey utilizing a nationally representative sample of the Medicare population. The MCBS collects data on a whole host of topics including health status, health insurance coverage and financing, access to care, knowledge and understanding of the Medicare Program, as well as use and effectiveness of new program benefits and changes.
Cara A Petroski; Joseph F Regan
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Health care financing review     Volume:  30     ISSN:  0195-8631     ISO Abbreviation:  Health Care Financ Rev     Publication Date:  2009  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-06-23     Completed Date:  2009-07-28     Revised Date:  2014-11-05    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7909994     Medline TA:  Health Care Financ Rev     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  71-6     Citation Subset:  H    
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MeSH Terms
Consumer Health Information*
Data Collection*
Insurance Benefits*
Physical Examination / utilization*
United States

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Full Text
Journal Information
Journal ID (nlm-ta): Health Care Financ Rev
Journal ID (iso-abbrev): Health Care Financ Rev
Journal ID (publisher-id): HCFR
ISSN: 0195-8631
ISSN: 1554-9887
Article Information
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Copyright: 2009
Print publication date: Season: Spring Year: 2009
Volume: 30 Issue: 3
First Page: 71 Last Page: 76
PubMed Id: 19544936
ID: 4195073
Publisher Id: hcfr-30-03-071

MCBS Highlights: Use and Knowledge of the New Enrollee “Welcome to Medicare” Physical Examination Benefit
Cara A. Petroski, M.A.
Joseph F. Regan, M.A., M.S.


As part of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 and beginning on January 1, 2005, Medicare authorized the coverage of a one-time “Welcome to Medicare” preventative physical exam to occur within the first six months that a beneficiary establishes Part B coverage. This comprehensive exam includes a thorough review of a beneficiary's health, discussion of his/her family history, education and counseling about needed preventative services, such as shots, screening, and/or referrals for other care. The beneficiary's doctor will check his/her blood pressure, weight, and height and where warranted, give or order an electrocardiogram and a simple vision screening test. Beneficiaries are expected to leave their doctor's office with a written plan/checklist of the particular screenings and other preventative services he/she ought to have in the near future.

A New Enrollee Supplement was included within the MCBS beginning in 2006, purposefully created in order to monitor this new benefit that is available to new Medicare Part B enrollees. The Supplement involved the surveying of approximately 1,300 Medicare new enrollees, ages 65-69, in 2006. It will continue to be utilized among the same survey panel of enrollees for the next several rounds of the survey.

A few changes to the “Welcome to Medicare” physical exam benefit have been brought about with the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008. Most notably, the Medicare Part B deductible has been waived and new enrollees now have one year from their Part B enrollment date to take advantage of the one-time physical.


fn1-hcfr-30-03-071NOTE: Highlights are not peer-reviewed.

fn2-hcfr-30-03-071The authors are with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The statements expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of CMS.

fn3-hcfr-30-03-071Reprint Requests: Cara Petroski and Joseph F. Regan, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, C3-16-27, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850. Internet addresses: or

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