What is Medicare Part B?
Part B helps cover medically-necessary services like doctors, outpatient care, home health services, and more. Part B also covers some preventive services. Check your Medicare card to find out if you have Part B.
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How Much Does Part B Cost?
If you are enrolled in Part B you must pay a monthly premium. Most people will pay the standard premium amount of $170.10 (2022). This number may be higher if you are in a higher income bracket. Social Security will contact you if this is the case. If you do not sign up for Part B when you are first eligible, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty.
How Do I Get Part B?
Individuals already enrolled in Social Security Benefits will automatically receive Part B. You will receive a Medicare Card with Parts A & B in the mail three months before your 65th birthday or on your 25th month of being disabled. If you are not claiming Social Security Benefits or are not disability eligible, you can apply online at ssa.gov, visit your local Social Security Office, or call Social Security directly.
What Does Part B Cover?
Part B covers two types of services:
Medically-necessary services - Part B covers services or supplies that are needed to diagnose or treat your medical condition and that meet accepted standards of medical practice. Basically, this covers Doctors, X-Rays, Blood work, outpatient surgery, specialist visits, etc.
What Costs Come With Part B?
Part B has a few out of pocket costs you are responsible for. The first in an Annual Deductible of $233. This resets every year on the month you signed up for Medicare, not at the start of the new calendar year. You are also responsible for copays, which are capped at $20. Your healthcare provider may charge less, but never more.
The biggest cost associated with Part B is the 20% coinsurance. This leaves you on the hook for 20% of any medical service provided. If you get a major surgery or procedure done, this could be tens of thousands of dollars.
The final cost is Part B Excess charges. These are given from only a handful of doctors who decide they are going to charge more than what Medicare pays them. And the cost gets passed on to you. This is incredibly rare to find, but we still want to let you know it exists so you have a full understanding of Medicare.