4 things to know about Medicare Part B:
- It’s the secondary and optional part of Original Medicare.
- It’s referred to as medical insurance.
- It provides care for medically necessary services and preventative services.
- You have to pay a monthly premium for it. The monthly premium is usually about $105.
Medicare Part B, the second part of Original Medicare, provides medical insurance coverage. It covers doctors services and outpatient medical care, among other things.
Part B is optional. If you’re automatically enrolled, you can opt out of it. When you receive your Medicare card in the mail, just follow the instructions that come attached and send the card back. If you don’t follow these instructions, you will get Part B and must pay the premiums.
Part B is considered medical insurance and covers services from screening tests to cancer services. Here’s an overview of Part B benefits:
- Initial physical exam
- Yearly wellness exam
- Doctor services
- Nursing care
- Ambulance services
- Diagnostic tests and screenings
- Certain pap smear and mammography screenings
- Pneumonia and flu vaccinations
- Durable medical equipment
The list above is only part of the covered items provided by Original Medicare. A full list of covered benefits can be found on the Medicare.gov website.
Your Part B costs will come in the forms of premiums, deductibles, co-payments, and co-insurance.
Part B comes with a monthly premium. For most people, this is about $105 a month. If you are in a higher income bracket, though, you may pay up to $390 a month. You usually only have to pay a higher premium if your yearly income is over $85,000 individually or $170,000 as a couple.
Deductibles, co-payments, and co-insurance
Part B comes with a $166 annual deductible. Part B won’t pay for anything until you pay that amount each year that you use the coverage.
After you pay the deductible, you still pay for a portion of the services covered by Part B. This is usually 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for the service. Part B covers the other 80%.
If you don’t want to pay for deductibles or co-insurance, read about Medicare Supplement insurance. It can help you fill in the gaps. Two of the Medicare Supplement insurance plan options — Plans C and F — will pay for your Medicare Part B deductible.