under 65? visit the
Medicare Part B picks up – to a large extent – where Medicare Part A leaves off, covering many of the outpatient services and products not covered by the "hospital insurance."
Part B coverage pays for a broad range of medically necessary services not covered during inpatient treatment, including ambulance services, certain surgical procedures, mental health care, physical therapy, transplants, urgently needed care and more.
In addition, Part B covers preventive medical services, including diagnostic tests (such as MRIs, CT scans, EKGs and x-rays) and a host of screenings (such as pap tests, HIV screening, glaucoma tests, hearing tests, diabetes screening and colorectal cancer screenings).
Part B also pays the costs of durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs, hospital beds and oxygen equipment.
Yes. For those earning less than $85,000 annually, Part B's standard monthly premium is $154.70, and the cost is automatically deducted from their monthly Social Security check. Enrollees must also pay a $135 deductible, and typically, Part B users pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount of medically necessary services, preventive medical services and durable medical equipment referenced above.
If you are already receiving Social Security benefits, you will be notified three months prior to your 65th birthday that you are about to become a Part A Medicare consumer and that Part B is an option. You'll receive the Part B card at the same time as the Part A card.
If you choose not to enroll in Part B, you must return the card or $154.70 will automatically be deducted from your Social Security checks. If you keep the card, Part B coverage kicks in on your 65th birthday.
It's important to note that if you fail to enroll in Part B during the initial invitation period, the program will offers you another opportunity to enroll each succeeding year (January 1 - March 31). The catch? Each year you are eligible for Part B but turn it down, your monthly premium will be increased by 10 percent.
Also called "traditional" Medicare, it's the fee-for-service program in which the government pays your health care costs. The coverage includes Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B and allows you to see any doctor anywhere (who accepts Medicare patients).
Medicare Part A helps cover inpatient hospital visit expenses, including a semi-private room, medical tests and doctors' fees. It may pay a portion of skilled nursing expenses and home health services, if ordered by a physician, and often 100 percent of hospice care.
Medicare Advantage plans replace your government coverage with private insurance. These plans cost more but offer more benefits than traditional medicare.
Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage available only through private companies, but any individual who receives Medicare health insurance is eligible. Part D covers both brand name and generic drugs with a short list of exceptions.
Medigap plans offer supplemental benefits sold by private companies to extend traditional medicare. Fourteen plans offer varying combinations of benefits, covering copayments and deductibles and foreign travel emergency expenses, at-home care and preventive care.