Medicare Part B

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Partner to Part A, this one is really a must-have.

What does it cost?

On average, Part B beneficiaries pay $109 per month.

If any of the following situations applies to you, you’ll generally pay the standard amount of $134.00 for your monthly premium:

  • You enrolled in Part B for the first time in 2017.
  • You aren’t currently receiving retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.
  • You’re a dual eligible (have both Medicare and Medicaid), and the Medicaid program pays for the cost of your premiums. If you qualify, your $134 premium is paid by the Medicaid program.
  • You’re billed directly for your Part B premium.
  • Your Part B premium could be higher than $134 if your income is higher than a certain amount (see table below).

Premiums can be higher for beneficiaries with annual household incomes that exceed specific thresholds. See the table below for details.

2017 Medicare Part B premiums based on income (as reported on your tax return 2 years ago)

Your Annual Income2017 Premium Amount
Individual Tax ReturnJoint Tax ReturnYou Pay
$85,000 or less$170,000 or less$134.00
$85,001 up to $107,000$170,001 up to $214,000$ 187.50
$107,001 up to $160,000$214,001 up to $320,000$ 267.90
$160,001 up to $214,000$320,001 up to $428,000$ 348.30
Over $214,000Over $428,000$ 428.60

There are other factors, but that’s a pretty good summary.

What does it do?

It covers medically necessary services: Services or supplies that are needed to diagnose or treat your medical condition and that meet accepted standards of medical practice.
Preventive services: Health care to prevent illness (like the flu) or detect it at an early stage, when treatment is most likely to work best.
You pay nothing for most preventive services if you get the services from a health care provider who accepts assignment.

Part B covers things like:

Clinical research
Ambulance services
Durable medical equipment (DME)
Mental health
Inpatient
Outpatient
Partial hospitalization
Getting a second opinion before surgery
Limited outpatient prescription drugs

How to find out if Medicare covers what you need?
Talk to your doctor or other health care provider about why you need certain services or supplies, and ask if Medicare will cover them. If you need something that’s usually covered and your provider thinks that Medicare won’t cover it in your situation, you’ll have to read and sign a notice saying that you may have to pay for the item, service, or supply.
Find out if Medicare covers your item, service, or supply.
Medicare coverage is based on 3 main factors

How do I get it?

Some people get Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) automatically and other people have to sign up for it. In most cases, it depends on whether you’re getting Social Security benefits.

Medicare is managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Social Security works with CMS by enrolling people in Medicare. You don’t need to sign up for Medicare each year. However, each year you’ll have a chance to review your coverage and change plans.

 

Some of this information came from Medicare.gov
There is lots more information there, if you need it.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.

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