What is Medicare Part B? Medicare Part B, also known as medical insurance, helps cover medically necessary services and supplies needed for the diagnosis or treatment of your health condition. Part B includes outpatient services received at a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office — and also many preventive services.
1. Know Your Benefits
It’s important to know what your benefits are when it comes to Medicare. Medicare Part B includes:
- Doctor visits
- Mental health services
- Preventive services
- Laboratory tests and X-rays
- Emergency ambulance services
- Durable medical equipment
- Rehabilitative services
2. Know Your Costs
For Medicare Part B, you will pay a monthly premium as well as a yearly deductible of $183. Your monthly premium amount depends on your situation. Your premium can range from $109 to $134 or higher, depending on your income.
If any of the following applies to you, generally, you’ll pay $134.00 for your Part B premium:
- You enroll in Part B for the first time in 2018.
- You have Medicare and Medicaid coverage, and Medicaid pays for your monthly premiums.
- You haven’t started receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board Board benefits.
- You’re billed directly for your Part B premium.
3. Know When to Enroll or Delay
You will need to sign up for Medicare Part B during you Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), unless you’re already receiving your retirement benefits before you turn 65 or through disability. Your IEP is a seven-month enrollment period that begins three months before you turn 65, the months you turn 65, and ends three months later. Your start date depends on the month you sign up.
If you have health coverage through your employer, you may be able to delay enrollment. Talk to your employer about the details of your health care coverage to find out if you’ll face penalties when you do enroll.
You can apply for Medicare through Social Security in person at your local Social Security office, by calling 1-800-772-1213 or through the website.