What is Medicare Part B?
What does Medicare Part B cover?
- Doctor and other health care provider services
- Outpatient surgery
- Lab and x-ray services
- Ambulance services
- Preventive services
- Durable medical equipment like prosthetics, wheelchairs, and hospital beds
Services that are not covered by Medicare, but are covered by Medicare Advantage plans include:
- Routine hearing, dental, and vision exams.
- Hearing aids or glasses (except for glasses after cataract surgery).
- Emergency assistance while traveling outside the U.S.
- Fitness club membership.
- Long-term care (such as a nursing home).
- Prescription drug coverage.
How much does Medicare Part B cost?
Part B requires you to pay a monthly premium, calculated based on your adjusted gross income, along with a yearly deductible before coverage begins. You are also responsible for paying part of the costs that Part B does not cover.
Your costs include:
- Your Medicare Part B monthly premium, if applicable
- Yearly deductible (paid before Medicare begins paying)
- Coinsurance (percentage of the cost that Medicare does not pay)
When am I eligible for Medicare Part B?
You can enroll in Medicare Part B if:
- You are age 65 or older, or
- You are under age 65 with certain disabilities, or
- You have permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis.
How do I get Medicare Part B?
If you already get benefits from Social Security, you'll get Medicare Parts A and Part B automatically when you're first eligible and don't need to sign up. Medicare will send you a "Welcome to Medicare" packet 3 months before you turn 65. You can also contact the Social Security Administration to sign up for Original Medicare. You can visit their website at www.ssa.gov. Or call toll-free 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.