Medicare Part B is outpatient coverage for services that are deemed medically necessary. Part B covers things in and out of the hospital, but think of the coverage as any care performed by physicians.
What Medicare Part B Covers
With Medicare Part B coverage, you have access to an array of outpatient medical services. Part B covers the following:
- Preventative care (flu shots, colonoscopies, and mammograms)
- Doctor’s visits
- Lab testing
- Home health care
- Ambulance rides
- Some chiropractic care
Part B also covers high-priced services that may occur in the hospital, including radiation or chemotherapy for cancer, diagnostic imaging, surgeries, dialysis for failing kidneys, and medical equipment. It will also cover drugs provided in a clinical setting.
Medicare Part B is optional. However, if Medicare is your main coverage, you certainly need Part B. You also can’t receive Medigap supplemental coverage without it.
What Does Medicare Cover in Terms of Costs Under Part B?
Medicare covers 80% of approved costs once you pay the yearly deductible.
What Part B Doesn’t Cover
Medicare Part B doesn’t cover:
- Hospital costs covered by Part A
- Cosmetic procedures
- Routine dental, vision, or hearing
- Routine foot care
- Prescription drugs
Generally, Part B doesn’t cover things that aren’t reasonable and necessary. Your doctor typically knows the rules for what’s covered and what isn’t.
How Much Will I Pay for Medicare Part B?
You have to pay a monthly premium for your Part B benefits. Most Americans will pay the customary monthly amount determined by the government. In 2020, the rate is $144.60 per month for those new to Medicare. However, you might owe more if your income is too high.
If you enroll late into Medicare Part B, you could also have to pay a fine for life. You don’t want to miss your enrollment window when you retire!
If you’re already enrolled in your Social Security income benefits, Medicare will subtract your Part B premiums out of your SS check. Otherwise, you’ll get a quarterly bill. You have the option to pay by credit card, or you can use a free auto draft service called Medicare Easy Pay.
Also, the annual deductible for Medicare Part B is $198.
How to Sign Up for Medicare Part B
Those who are 65 and already taking Social Security income benefits don’t need to enroll. The SS office will automatically enroll you. Your card will come in the mail 1 to 2 months before you turn 65.
Everyone else must apply for Part B on their own at age 65. You can apply online, over the phone, or in person at the local SS office. After you apply, it’ll take a few weeks for your card to arrive. So, it’s best to apply many weeks before you’ll need the coverage.
Signing up for Medicare Part B is pretty straightforward. You’ll want to enroll during your initial enrollment period unless you have other suitable coverage. Otherwise, you’d face a penalty.
For more information on the application options, click on our Apply for Medicare page.
Seek Medicare Help From an Expert
If you have questions about Medicare or you need more information, call (316) 260-3331.
Our licensed agents can help you compare options, explain your coverage, and identify the most sufficient the plan for you. Get Medicare help today!