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 that, 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).
Following along Medicare Part B’s monthly premium of $148.50, there are also some out of pocket costs to be dealt with.
What will you pay under Medicare Part B?
Your Medicare Part B Costs:
- Part B Premium for most people*: You pay $148.50 a month
- Yearly Deductible: You pay $203
- 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 need to 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.
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. Also worth noting is that Original Medicare Part B puts a limit on physical, speech, and occupational therapy.
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