Medicare Part B is the second part of Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Medicare Part B is often referred to as Medical insurance because most of what it covers is related doctor office visits and durable medical equipment.
What Medicare Part B Covers
- Services from doctors and other health care providers
- "Welcome to Medicare" exam and yearly wellness physical exams
- Outpatient Care
- Home Health Care
- Durable Medical Equipment
- Some Preventive Services - including screenings and vaccines
- Diagnostic tests and lab work
- Ambulance Services: transport and travel to and from certain locations
Premiums for Medicare Part B
Unlike Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B does have a cost associated with it. What you pay is based on your income on your tax return form 2 years before. Some beneficiaries can qualify for low-income assistance for Part B.
Medicare publishes a chart to determine what your premium will be. Remember, it is using your tax return figures from 2 year prior.
For details on how to apply for Medicare Part B, please click this link: How to enroll in Medicare
What You Pay with Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B has costs you have to cover before it starts covering 80%. The Part B deductible changes each year, however the change is usually just a few dollars. Once you have meet that deductible, you are responsible for the remaining 20%. That 20% has no yearly maximum.
Your Costs with Medicare Part B
What you pay (2017)
20% of Approved Medicare Charges (no max limit)
How to cover the gaps in Medicare Part B
The out of pocket exposure with Medicare Part B is significant. In order to avoid that exposure, many seniors will choose a Medicare supplement (Medigap) plan to cover those holes in Original Medicare. To learn more about the peace of mind a Medicare supplement plan can provide, click on this link: What is a Medigap Plan.