2017 Medicare Part B Overview

This article was originally published on June 20, 2016, and updated on June 26, 2017.

What is Medicare Part B coverage?

Original Medicare is made up of two parts: Part A and Part B. While Part A covers hospital stays, Part B focuses on medical insurance.

Medicare Part B helps cover medically necessary services and supplies needed for the diagnosis or treatment of your health condition. This includes outpatient services received at a hospital, doctor’s office, clinic, or other health facility. Medicare Part B also helps cover many preventive services to thwart illnesses or detect them at an early stage.

Medicare Part B benefits

Medical services and supplies covered by Medicare Part B include (but may not be limited to):

  • Doctor visits
  • Clinical research
  • Laboratory tests and X-rays
  • Emergency ambulance services
  • Mental health services
  • Durable medical equipment (DME)
  • Preventive services, such as pap tests, flu shots, and screenings
  • Getting a second opinion before surgery
  • Rehabilitative services, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology services

If in doubt, check to find out if Medicare covers a service or item.

Medicare Part B premiumsMedicare Part B costs

Medicare Part B involves some costs. You’ll pay both a monthly premium and a yearly deductible for Medicare Part B. The monthly premium amount may vary depending on your specific situation:

  • You’ll generally pay $109.00 for your monthly premium if you were enrolled in Part B before 2017.
  • If any of the following applies to you, you’ll generally pay $134.00 for your Part B premium:
    • You enroll in Part B for the first time in 2017.
    • You aren’t receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits.
    • You’re billed directly for your Part B premium.
    • You have both Medicare and Medicaid coverage, and Medicaid pays for your monthly premiums.

You may have to pay a higher premium if your yearly income is above a certain amount, as reported on your tax return from two years ago. In addition, if you didn’t enroll in Medicare Part B when you were first eligible, you may have to pay a late-enrollment penalty in the form of a higher premium, unless you’re eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.

In addition to your monthly premium, you’ll pay $183.00 for the yearly Part B deductible.

For individual services and supplies, your Medicare Part B costs may vary. Some preventive services are completely covered if your provider accepts Medicare assignment. If the Medicare Part B deductible applies, you must pay all costs until you meet the yearly deductible amount before Medicare begins paying its share.

After your deductible is met, you typically pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for the service. You may also owe a copayment for certain outpatient services.

Related Links

2017 Medicare Part A and B Costs

Medicare Part A & B Won’t Cover These Services

What is Medicare Part A? A Simple Explanation

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