What is Medicare Part B and what does it cover? This is a question that most people turning 65 ask but struggle to find a clear answer. For starters, Original Medicare is made up of two parts: Medicare Part A (which mainly covers hospitalization) and Medicare Part B ( which covers your day-to-day medical coverage). This article will explain Part B but you can read more about Medicare A here.
What is Medicare Part B and What Does it Cover?
Medicare Part B is designed to help pay for most of your non-hospital related medical coverage. While technically optional, Part B is the coverage you’ll need if you don’t want to pay 100% of your doctor visits. Beyond doctor visits, Part B partially covers physical, speech, and occupational therapy, second opinions, certain drugs administered by a doctor, and some durable medical equipment (wheelchairs, canes, scooters, etc). Along with Medicare Part B’s monthly premium, it still has out of pocket costs.
What will you pay under Medicare Part B?
Your Medicare Part B Costs:
- Part B Premium for most people*: You pay $144.60 a month
- Yearly Deductible: You pay $198
- Most doctor services (including in-patient hospital doctor services): You pay 20% of the cost of the visit
- Clinical Lab Services: You pay $0
- Durable Medical Equipment: You pay 20%
- Preventive Care: You pay $0
- Part B Copayment: Depends on service
- Home Health Services**: $0
*Those with higher incomes pay an increased premium.
**Although Home Health Services are completely covered at no cost to you, if you need durable medical equipment you will pay 20% of the cost.
What Does Part B Not Cover?
Here are a few examples of areas that Medicare Part B does not cover: hospitalization, hearing aids, dental, vision, acupuncture, excess charges at the doctors office, non-donated blood, and prescription drugs.
Notes about Part B Partial Coverage
As you can see Part B pays 80% of many medical related services which means that, without additional Medicare insurance, you will have to pay 20% of these costs. Additionally, Original Medicare Part B puts a limit on physical, speech, and occupational therapy.