Introduction to Medicare Part B
Part B is the second part of the original Medicare health insurance program. While Part A covers your in-hospital expenses, Part B coverage is there to aid you with your non-hospital expenses that are deemed to be medically necessary.
Premiums for Medicare Part B
Unlike Part A coverage, Part B always requires you to pay a monthly premium. Although there is a standard premium that most people pay, under certain conditions you may be required to pay a higher premium for Part B coverage. If you are not eligible for the standard premium for any reason, you will be notified by the Social Security Administration.
What Medicare Part B Covers and Doesn’t Cover
The Part B coverage is applicable for two general types of services. These are health care services that are deemed to be “medically necessary,” as well as preventative health care.
Preventive health care includes things such as pap smears and flu shots, or anything else that can prevent an illness or result in early detection. Treatment works best for many illnesses when the disease has been found at an early stage, and this is why preventative services are covered by Medicare Part B. The thinking behind this element of Medicare Part B coverage is that the sooner an illness is detected and treated (or prevented), the less your medical expenses will be.
By comparison, medically necessary services refer to any health care services that are needed to treat a medical condition that you currently have.
If you don’t have Part B coverage and want to purchase it, then you will first have to confirm that you are eligible. You can then sign up for Part B, but don’t delay!
You should remember that if you were eligible for Part B and did not sign up for it right away you may have to pay a penalty for signing up late. The penalty is a percentage increase in your Part B premiums — up to 10 percent per year that you are late.
Consumers automatically receive Medicare Part B they meet certain conditions, such as getting Social Security benefits. A Medicare card will be sent to you when you become eligible for coverage, and it will show you whether you have Part A, Part B or both. If you don’t want Part B coverage, you have to return the card. By keeping it you agree that you want it and that you will be paying the monthly Part B premiums.
Medicare Supplements Help with Medicare Part B Expenses and Coverage Gaps
It’s important to understand that Medicare Part A doesn’t cover all your medically required expenses. That’s where Medigap, a Medicare supplement program, comes in handy. Medicare supplements provide coverage for many expenses not covered by standard Part A and Part B Medicare plans.
Use the free Boomers insurance quote tool above to compare your Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement options, as well as to speak with a knowledgeable agent licensed in your state.