Medicare Part B
Part B is optional, and includes medical Insurance for outpatient services. Among these are doctor’s visits, laboratory testing, and advanced imaging such as MRI or CT scans. Part B also covers preventive care including flu shots, colonoscopies, mammograms and more. Finally, Medicare Part also covers more expensive services like radiation or chemotherapy for cancer, surgeries, medical equipment, and even dialysis for failing kidneys.
How much will I pay for Medicare Part B?
To receive Part B benefits, a monthly premium must be paid. Most people will pay a standard monthly amount set by the government. In 2017, this is $104.90/month for most people, but is $134 for people new to Medicare. However, you may owe more if your income is above a certain level. You may also face a penalty if you enroll late into Part B.
How do I sign up for Part B?
Applying for Medicare Part B can be done online, over the phone or in person at your local Social Security office. After you apply, it will take 2 – 3 weeks before your card will arrive, so you should plan to apply several weeks prior before you will need the coverage.
What is my cost sharing under Medicare Part B?
You will pay a percentage of the costs of your medically-necessary Part B services. Generally, these costs are:
- the annual Medicare Part B deductible (in 2017, this is $183)
- 20% of the remaining costs, with no limits or cap
- any excess charges that a provider or facility may charge beyond what Medicare reimburses.
What is most significant is the 20% that you will owe for outpatient medical care. For services like surgeries or chemotherapy, your expenses can add up to thousands of dollars. There is no reason for you to be subject to these expenses when there are supplemental coverage options available for any budget. There are two main ways in which you can protect yourself against catastrophic medical spending.
Medicare supplements are available for purchase to cover the parts that A & B don’t. If you need a more affordable option, Advantage plans are a great option to get your A & B benefits through a private health insurance plan at very little cost.