Medicare Part B
What is Medicare Part B?
Medicare Part B is your doctors’ insurance included in your Original Medicare benefits. It provided insurance coverage for all your medically necessary outpatient medical care and preventative care services.
Part B is the second of the four parts of Medicare:
Here’s What Medicare Part B Covers
- Office visits
- Physician services
- Lab testing
- Ambulance rides
- Simple surgical procedures
- And other care services that fall under medically necessary or preventative
Medicare Part B Costs
Unlike Part A, Part B has a monthly premium, a yearly deductible, and 20% coinsurance on all covered services.
Medicare Part B Premium: The Social Security Act allows Medicare to adjust premiums, deductibles, and copayment rates every year. In 2020, the standard Medicare Part B premium is $144.60, an increase of $9.10 from 2019.
Your premium will automatically be deducted from your benefit payment if you get benefits from one of these:
- Social Security
- Railroad Retirement Board
- Office of Personnel Management
Medicare Part B Deductible: The annual deductible in 2020 for Medicare Part B is $198. A $13 increase from the yearly deductible of 2019.
Medicare Part B Coinsurance: Medicare covers 80% of all of your outpatient care services. Which means you pay a 20% patient responsibility for your outpatient medical care. There is no out of pocket maximum for this coinsurance. Which makes this the most significant gap within Original Medicare.
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Why Medicare Cost Are Increasing
The increasing cost of Medicare is primarily due to the rising cost of spending for physician-administered drugs. The current system incentivizes drug companies to set higher prices, and for doctors to prescribe higher-cost medications. As a result, the cost of Medicare continues to rise.
Currently, the Trump administration is working on legislation to lower drug prices.
When to Enroll
The Medicare Enrollment Period is a seven-month window that begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes your birthday month, and extends for the following three months.
If you do not enroll during your initial enrollment period, you will accrue a financial penalty that continues for the entire time you are on Medicare.
If you are still receiving benefits from your employer, then you may be able to delay enrollment for Medicare Part B. However, most people should enroll during their enrollment widow.
There are only two requirement to be eligible for Medicare.
- U.S. citizen
- Aged 65 and above
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