What does Medicare Part B cover?
Sometimes referred to as “medical insurance,” Part B covers two types of medical services: medically necessary services and preventive service. Medically necessary services include outpatient doctor visits and tests in addition to supplies such as wheelchairs and walkers. Preventive services include annual wellness exams, screenings, and vaccines.
Other things covered by Part B include:
- Clinical research
- Ambulance services
- Durable medical equipment (DME)
- Limited outpatient prescription drugs
More information on what Part B covers can be found on the Medicare.gov site.
Is Part B mandatory?
Technically, Part B is not mandatory. However, if you do not enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period or if you work past 65, during your Special Enrollment Period, you may have to pay penalties on your premium for the rest of your life. To read more about Medicare penalties, check out this article.
What is the cost of Part B?
As of 2019, Medicare Part B includes an annual deductible of $185 and a monthly premium of $135.50 for most people (price increases with income). In addition, you will have to pay coinsurance costs, which are typically 20 percent of the total cost of your health care services. There is no limit on the amount of money you might have to pay in a year.
If you are enrolled in a Medicare Supplement plan, you might still have to pay the Part B deductible, but depending on the plan, it will cover all or a portion of your Part B costs.