Medicare Part B – Medical Insurance

Tamera Jackson by Tamera Jackson | Licensed since 2007

This article was updated on: 05/28/2019

What is Medicare Part B coverage?

Medicare Part B (medical insurance) helps cover medically necessary services and supplies needed for the diagnosis or treatment of your health condition. This includes outpatient services received at a hospital, doctor’s office, clinic, or other health facility. Medicare Part B also helps cover many preventive services to prevent illness or detect them at an early stage. Together, Medicare Part A and Part B are known as Original Medicare.

Medicare Part B benefits

Medical services and supplies covered by Medicare Part B include (but may not be limited to):

  • Doctor visits
  • Laboratory tests and X-rays
  • Emergency ambulance services
  • Mental health services
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Preventive services, such as pap tests, flu shots, and screenings
  • Rehabilitative services, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology services

Medicare Part B costs

You’ll pay both a monthly premium and a yearly deductible for Medicare Part B. The monthly premium amount may vary depending on your specific situation:

  • If any of the following applies to you, you’ll generally pay $135.50 for your Part B premium:
    • You enroll in Part B for the first time in 2019.
    • You aren’t receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits.
    • You’re billed directly for your Part B premium.
    • You have both Medicare and Medicaid coverage, and Medicaid pays for your monthly premiums.

You may have to pay a higher premium if your yearly income is above a certain amount, as reported on your tax return from two years ago. In addition, if you didn’t enroll in Medicare Part B when you were first eligible, you may have to pay a late-enrollment penalty in the form of a higher premium, unless you’re eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.

In addition to your monthly premium, you’ll pay $185 in 2019 for the yearly Part B deductible.

For individual services and supplies, your Medicare Part B costs may vary. Some preventive services are completely covered if your provider accepts Medicare assignment. If the Medicare Part B deductible applies, you must pay all costs until you meet the yearly deductible amount before Medicare begins paying its share.

After your deductible is met, you typically pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for the service. You may also owe a copayment for certain outpatient services. For example:

  • You may pay a copayment if you receive blood as part of your treatment. Even if the blood was donated free of charge to a blood bank, you may have to pay a handling or processing fee.
  • If you receive cardiac rehabilitation services as a hospital outpatient, you generally pay a copayment. The Medicare Part B deductible applies.
  • If you get chemotherapy as a hospital outpatient, you will generally be charged a copayment. The Part B deductible may apply.

This may not be a complete list.

Did you know that some Medicare Advantage plans may offer additional services beyond Medicare Part B? For example, some Medicare Advantage plans include benefits like wellness programs and routine vision and dental benefits. These benefits aren’t normally covered by Medicare Part A or Part B.

If you like, I can help you find a Medicare Advantage plan that may work for you. You can also schedule a one-to-one phone call or request an email from me with more Medicare plan information using the links below. If you’d like to compare some Medicare Advantage plans now, click the Compare Plans buttons on this page. If you’d like to speak sooner, contact one of our licensed insurance agents following the instructions right below.

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