Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B is medical insurance and it helps cover doctor visits, hospital outpatient care, and some home health care.
Medicare Part B is medical insurance and it helps cover doctor visits, hospital outpatient care, and some home health care, as well as tests, shots, ambulance services, and some preventive services to maintain your health and to keep certain illnesses from getting worse. Medicare Part B together with Medicare Part A (hospitalization) are commonly referred to as Original Medicare and are provided by the federal government.

Most people are eligible to sign up for Medicare Part A during a seven month window surrounding your 65th birthday—the three months before you turn 65, the month you turn 65, and the three months after your 65th birthday. placeholder_image

Medicare Part B covers:
  • Doctor visits
  • Outpatient medical services
  • Emergency room care
  • Some preventive services (like flu shots)
  • X-rays, MRIs and CT scans
  • Lab services
  • Some screenings (mammograms, colonoscopies, bone density tests, PAP tests, diabetes screenings, and prostate exams)
  • Skilled nursing care
  • Mental health care
Medicare Part B doesn’t cover:
  • 20% coinsurance for all medical services
  • Prescription medication
  • Most dental care
  • Eye exams for prescribing glasses
  • Dentures
  • Acupuncture
  • Hearing aids and exams
  • Chiropractic services
  • Foot care
Medicare Part B Costs:
The 2016 monthly premium ranges from $104.90 to $335.70, depending on your annual income. The 2016 yearly deductible is $166. Once your deductible is met, Part B generally pays 80% of the Medicare-approved amount for covered services. That means you are responsible for the remaining 20%—and there is no maximum amount for out-of-pocket expenses. For extensive coverage, consider adding a Medicare Supplement Plan, which helps pay the 20% so you don’t have to.

How to Sign Up:
If you already receive Social Security benefits, you will be enrolled automatically for Original Medicare just before your 65th birthday. The government will mail you an “Initial Enrollment Package” with all the details about three months before your 65th birthday.

If you have delayed your Social Security benefits, enroll in one of the following ways:
  • Call Social Security at (800) 772-1213.
  • Make an appointment at your local Social Security office.
  • Enroll online at the Social Security administration website:
Note that if you don’t sign up for Medicare Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period, you may pay a late enrollment penalty for the duration of your Part B coverage when you do sign up. Your monthly Part B premium may go up 10% for each 12-month period that you didn’t sign up. Other penalties also may apply for both Parts A and B.

Continue to Medicare Supplement

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