An annual wellness exam does not include discussion of new problems or detailed review of chronic conditions. Annual exams may also be called routine check-ups, yearly exams, an annual pap, or preventive visit. Most health plans will pay for one wellness or preventive exam per year.
Preventive visits and tests ordered by your provider can help you stay healthy and catch problems early. Diagnostic visits and testing are used to diagnose a current health problem. Diagnostic tests are ordered by your provider when you have symptoms and they want to find out why. For example, your provider might want you to have a test because of your age or family history, that’s preventive care, but if it’s because you’re having symptoms of a problem, that’s diagnostic care.
After years of practicing medicine, I have learned it is important to catch a medical problem early. After a medical problem has gone undetected for years it can do permanent injury. For example, hypertension not caught early can cause an early heart attack or stroke. This can leave you impaired and will change your life forever.
Here are some websites that give preventative screening guidelines for adults and children.