Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B covers medically needed services or preventative services. 

You’ll typically have a deductible, premium, copays, and coinsurance.

What Medicare Part B covers

  • Medically necessary services: Services or supplies that are needed to diagnose or treat your medical condition and that meet accepted standards of medical practice.
  • Preventive services: Health care to prevent illness or detect it at an early stage, when treatment is most likely to work best.

So, Part B covers things like ambulance transportation, blood work and other tests, and any medical equipment a doctor prescribes for use in your home.

What does Medicare Part B cost?

Part B has a monthly premium of $144.60 and an annual deductible of $198 in 2020. These are subject to change every year. 

There will also be coinsurance and copayments for which you are responsible. 

There are insurance plans out there called Medicare Supplements that can help cover some or all of these costs depending on your eligibility.

How do I enroll in Part B?

Some people are enrolled automatically, but some people have to sign up for it. 

If you have, or will be getting, benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board at least four months before you turn 65 you will be automatically enrolled in Part B. 

If you’re going to be eligible for Medicare due to a disability, you’ll be automatically enrolled if you have received disability benefits from Social Security for 24 months or certain disability benefits from the RRB for 24 months. 

Anyone with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) is automatically enrolled the month their disability benefits begin. 

Everyone else will have to enroll manually. 

You can enroll in Medicare at www.socialsecurity.gov, by calling them at 1-800-772-1213, or in person at your local Social Security Office.

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