What is Medicare Part B?
Medicare Part B is a part of the Medicare program that covers services and supplies that are medically necessary to treat or prevent a medical condition. It includes doctor’s services, outpatient care, medical equipment and supplies, preventive services, and some home health services. Part B is optional coverage that people pay a premium for, and most people choose to enroll to ensure they have access to necessary medical services.
Monthly premiums for Part B are based on income and can change from year to year. People must enroll during their initial enrollment period, which is usually when they turn 65. Enrollment in Part B is optional. Choosing to not take the optional coverage and later enrolling after your initial enrollment period will result in a late enrollment penalty.
People who enroll in Medicare are called Medicare beneficiaries.
Who is Eligible for Medicare Part B
Generally, individuals who are 65 years or older, United States citizens or legal permanent residents who have lived in the country for at least five years, and those under 65 with certain disabilities or end-stage renal disease are eligible for Medicare Part B. However, eligibility requirements may vary on a case-by-case basis, so it’s important to consult with a qualified health care provider or the Social Security Administration to learn more.
What Does Medicare Part B Covers?
Medicare Part B covers several medically necessary services such as :
- doctor visits
- lab tests
- outpatient procedures
- preventive care and
- durable medical equipment.
What is Not Included in Medicare Part B Coverage
There are certain medical services and supplies that are not covered under Part B. These include:
- dental care
- routine eye exams and glasses
- hearing aids
- cosmetic surgery and
- long-term care
When Someone Can Enroll in Medicare Part B?
Individuals may enroll in the seven-month period that begins three months before the month they turn 65 and ends three months after the month they turn 65. They may also enroll during the General Enrollment Period, which is January 1 to March 31 of each year. Special Enrollment Periods are also available for those who qualify.
People who are already receiving social security or railroad retirement board benefits are automatically enrolled into Part B at age 65.
What Does Medicare Part B costs in 2023?
The standard Part B premium for most beneficiaries is $164.90 per month in 2023. However, high-income earners may pay more than the standard premium through income-related monthly adjustment amounts (IRMAA), which can range from $207.90 to $504.90 per month. The standard annual Medicare Part B deductible is $226.
Individuals who qualify for the Medicare Savings Program due to low income may qualify to have their State pay the monthly Part B premium and will not pay a premium for Part B.
Why You should not delay enrolling in Medicare Part B?
People who delay enrolling in Part B will pay a Part B late enrollment penalty (LEP). The Part B penalty is a lifetime penalty that can increase the cost of the monthly premiums as long as you have Part B coverage. Delaying when you enroll in Part B can also lead to gaps in coverage and limitations on healthcare options. The resulting in gap in coverage leaves you responsible for paying for medical services out of pocket. In addition, without Part B coverage, there may be limitations on healthcare options, including access to certain doctors and hospitals that accept Medicare. It is important to sign up for part B within the special enrollment periods to avoid these potential losses.
We are here to help.
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We will help to find plans that include your medical providers, prescription drugs, and additional benefits that suit you.
Give us a call now at 469-814-0289 or schedule a call with us by visiting our Contact page.
Need More Information about Medicare Coverage?
Read our article about Medicare Part A, enrollment in Part A, what Part A covers, Medicare Part A costs, and how to sign up for Part A coverage.
Check out our article about Medicare Part C, how to enroll, Medicare Advantage Plans, and alternatives to original Medicare.
Should you purchase Medicare Supplement Insurance with Medicare Parts A and B or rely only on the Original Medicare Program? Read our article here.
Have questions about Prescription Drug Coverage? Read about what is covered by Medicare and what is not covered here.