Medicare Part B: What it Covers

Medicare Part B covers the care you receive from a health care provider when you are not hospitalized. Visits to your Doctor, preventive tests like mammograms and other health screenings as well as some home health care and outpatient services from physical and occupational therapists.

It pays for ambulance service to and from a hospital and durable medical equipment like crutches or oxygen tanks.Unlike Part A Medicare which is provided to all who qualify for it at no cost, Part B has a monthly premium. Medicare can have this premium deducted from your monthly Social Security benefit.

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When should I get Part B?

  • It’s recommended that you sign up for Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period as penalties will be assessed if you later wish this option.

  • If you are thinking of a Medical Advantage Plan it contains Part B coverage as part of the plan.

  • This Part B coverage must be the equal of the government plan but may contain some extras which the government plan does not like hearing, dental and extended vision coverage.

  • You may opt out of and back into a traditional Medicare Part B during the open enrollment Period from October 15th through Dec 7th each year.


How Much will it cost?

Cost for Part B as provided by Medicare is currently $144.60 in 2020. This amount is for individuals with income less than $87,000 or joint income less than $174,000 as reflected on their income tax filing. Higher incomes will pay a maximum of $491.60 per month. This premium is adjusted yearly. Advantage Plans provided by insurers can be purchased for no increase over the current Part B Medicare Premium but frequently cost more as they may provide optional services.

If you have more questions and need more information about Traditional Medicare Part B or Medicare Advantage Plans, the most current information about costs and benefits can be found at

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