As we discussed in our blog The Basics of Medicare, there are four parts of the government-funded health program. In this week’s blog, we’ll talk about Medicare Part B, which covers physicians fees.
Medicare Part B Coverage
Medicare Part B covers two general services: medically necessary services and preventative services. Medically necessary services are “Services or supplies that are need to diagnose or treat your medical condition and that meet accepted standards of medical practice.” Preventative services are “Health care to prevent illness (like the flu) or detect it at an early stage, when treatment is most likely to work best.”
In more specific, terms some of the things Medicare Part B covers include clinical research, ambulance services, durable medical equipment, outpatient medical care, home health services, lab tests, and some outpatient prescription drugs. To find out if Part B covers what you need, use this calculator on the Medicare website.
Part B Costs
The Medicare Part B premium is $104.90 per month and $147 per year for the deductible. However, depending on the income you report on your tax return, you may pay a higher premium. If you report $85,000 or more on an individual return or $170,000 on a joint return, you’ll have to pay a higher premium.
How to Sign up for Part B
You automatically qualify for Part B if:
- You get benefits from Social Security of the Railroad Retirement Board
- You’re under 65 and have a disability
- You have ALS
You’ll need to sign up for Part B if you don’t automatically qualify. You can sign up during the General Enrollment Period every year from January 1st to March 31st.
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Tags: Medicare Part B