Medicare Part B – Medical Insurance
This article was updated on: 10/22/2015
What is Medicare Part B coverage?
Medicare Part B (medical insurance) covers 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 covers 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’s 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. In 2015, most people will pay $104.90 for their monthly premium and $147 for the yearly deductible. You may have to pay a higher premium if your income is above a certain amount. If you didn’t enroll in Medicare Part B when you were first eligible, you may have to pay a late-enrollment penalty, unless you’re eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.
For individual services and supplies, your Medicare Part B costs will 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.
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.
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