What is Medicare Part B?
Medicare Part B covers a wide range of medical services not covered during inpatient treatment. It is part of what is referred to as Original Medicare, the traditional service offered by the federal government, and consists of Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance). In this way, Part B picks up coverage where Part A’s hospital care ends.
Part B is optional, but if you rely on Medicare for primary coverage, it is strongly recommended to ensure complete coverage of your health care needs. Even if you have private insurance and do not rely on Medicare, you can use Part B in coordination with your coverage to reduce spending.
Who is Eligible for Medicare Part B?
If you are eligible for Medicare Part A, you are eligible for Part B coverage, which is optional and carries a monthly premium for enrollees. If you are already enrolled in Social Security benefits, Medicare will deduct the Part B premium from your Social Security check. If this does not apply to you, then Medicare will bill you quarterly.
Enrolling in Medicare Part B
If you are already taking Social Security income benefits you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B. Your Medicare card will arrive by mail in the months before your 65th birthday.
If you receive Social Security benefits but do not want Medicare Part B coverage, you can opt out of Part B, and they will not deduct the Part B premium from your Social Security checks. It is essential to notify them of this decision; otherwise, they will deduct the premium by default.
If you wish to enroll in Part B, you must do so during your initial enrollment period, which takes place three months before you turn 65. Enrolling early ensures that there are no gaps in your coverage. Missing the initial enrollment locks you out of Part B coverage until the next enrollment period. General enrollment for Medicare Parts A and B falls between January 1 and March 31.
Additionally, if you don’t enroll during the initial period, you will face a Part B penalty. The Part B monthly premium will continue to increase until your eventual enrollment, should you choose to later. The premium increases 10 percent for every year that you don’t enroll while eligible.
Medicare Part B Coverage & Benefits
Part B covers many of the more expensive services that can occur during your hospital stay. This includes procedures like surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, dialysis, diagnostic imaging, among others. Part B includes many preventive medical services such as doctor visits, ambulance rides, screenings, and diagnostic tests. It also covers preventative care like colonoscopies, mammograms, flu shots, and in some cases chiropractic care.
Medically Necessary Services:
These are the services and supplies used to diagnose and treat medical conditions within standard medical practice. Also included are medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, and oxygen equipment.
This refers to health care that either prevents illness or detects it at the earliest stage possible for optimal treatment. In most cases, you will not have to pay anything for preventive services if your health care provider agrees to accept the payment amount Medicare approves for the service.
Diagnostic tests included are MRIs, CT scans, EKGs, and X-rays. Covered screenings often include pap tests, HIV screening, glaucoma tests, hearing tests, diabetes screening, and colorectal cancer screenings.
A licensed agent can help you determine if Part B fits your current needs. Connect directly with one of our agents to learn more with no obligation.
Medicare Part B Costs
For 2022, the Part B annual deductible is $233, an increase of $20 from the annual deductible. Once this deductible is met to your healthcare provider, you will pay 20% of the Medicare approved covered services.
In most cases, the Part B monthly premium is $170.1 for 2022, increasing $21.60 from $148.50 in 2021. However, if your income exceeds $91,000 (or $182,000 for married couples), then your monthly premium will cost more. Medicare uses the modified adjusted gross income from your two years ago tax return to calculate your monthly premium.
If you need help enrolling into Medicare Part B, connect with one of our independent agents to learn more. We look forward to assisting with your Medicare needs and ensuring that our clients find a suitable plan. Prefer to speak by phone? We find it much more manageable. Give us a call today!
Prefer to chat by phone? Give us a call at 1-888-559-0103.