Medicare Part B

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
  • Chemotherapy
  • Diagnostic tests and lab work
  • X-rays
  • 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.   

File Individual Tax Return

File Joint Tax Return

You Pay Each Month

(in 2020)

$87,000 or less

$174,000 or less


$87,001 to $109,000

$174,001 to $218,000


$109,001 to $136,000

$218,001 to $272,000


$136,001 to $163,000

$272,001 to $326,000


$163,001 to $499,999

$326,001 to $749,999


$500,000 and above

$750,000 and above


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 (2020)



Co Insurance

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.

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