Medicare Part B
Part B is the second part of Original Medicare that provides benefits for doctor services and other health care providers, outpatient care, and durable medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, walkers and hospital beds. It also covers many preventative services, such as mammograms and flu shots.
What is Medicare Part B and what does it cover?
Part B also covers some medical services not covered under Part A, such as certain types of occupational therapy, physical therapy, mental healthcare and home healthcare services. Additionally, coverage under Part B includes ambulance services, cancer treatments, and diagnostic imaging.
Medicare Part B Eligibility
You are eligible for Part B when turning 65 if you have worked and paid taxes for 40 quarters (10 years) and are a legal resident. You can also be the spouse of a person that meets these guidelines to receive Part B benefits.
Medicare Part B Costs
The 2021 monthly premium for Part B is $148.50. However, if your income is above $88,000 individually or above $176,000 jointly, you will pay an income adjustment that will increase your monthly premium.
What Does Medicare Part B Not Cover?
Part B coverage will pay for a large amount of your health expenses, but not all of it. The following will be out-of-pocket costs that you are responsible for, unless you purchase a Medigap policy to offset these expenses:
✓ Physical exams other than your annual wellness visit
✓ Routine foot care
✓ Acupuncture, naturopathy
✓ Cosmetic surgery
✓ Hearing aids
✓ Dentures and denture care
✓ Medicare care outside of the United States
Part B Enrollment
When can you sign up for Part B?
You can sign up for Part B when you become eligible, which is at the age of 65. You have a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) to sign up. Part B coverage is optional; however, it is required should you want to enroll in a Medigap policy or a Medicare Advantage plan.
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