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CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Taxes & Financial Planning > Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B Cost


How Much Does Medicare Part B Cost?

 
low costDeductible: TBA November 2012average costMedium: $99 Per Monthhigh costHigh: $140-$320 Per Month
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Medicare helps pay for health care for people 65 or older or the disabled, but does not cover all expenses. The traditional government-run Medicare is Part A and Part B. For an overview of all the options, see How Much Does Medicare Cost.

Medicare Part B covers outpatient health care, including doctors' visits. However, Medicare Part B only covers a portion of the cost of medically necessary procedures; for more comprehensive coverage, most people also buy a supplemental (Medigap) policy from a private insurance company. For more details, see How Much Does Medicare Supplemental Cost.

Typical costs:

  • Typically, the premiums for Medicare Part B are deducted from the individual's monthly Social Security check. For 2014, the standard premium for Medicare Part B is $104.90 a month ($1,258.80 a year), but premiums can cost $146.90-$335.70 a month ($1,762.80-$4,028.40 a year) if total annual income in 2012 was more than $85,000 for a single person or $170,000 for a married couple. Medicare.gov lists Medicare premiums and deductibles for 2012, including a Part B premium chart by income level.
  • With Medicare Part B, the patient must pay a deductible amount as well as coinsurance payments and copays. For 2014, the deductible is $147 per year and the coinsurance payments will be a percentage of the amount approved by Medicare for the medical services provided. Medicare.gov provides a coverage database[1] to search for payment rates for specific services or supplies covered under Medicare Part B.
Related articles: Medicare Part A, Medicare Part D, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplemental, Medicare

What should be included:
  • Medicare Part B covers doctors' services, ambulance services, durable medical equipment (such as walkers, wheelchairs or oxygen equipment), chiropractic care, outpatient mental health services and more. The Medicare Rights Center provides an overview of Part B coverage[2] .
  • While Medicare Part B does cover a range of medically necessary services, it is not intended to cover everything not included under Medicare Part A. Medicare Part B does not cover cosmetic surgery, custodial care, dental care, eyeglasses, hearing aids, orthopedic shoes, prescription drugs or health care obtained outside the United States, routine foot care or routine physical exams.
  • Traditionally Medicare Part B did not cover preventive care, but in the last few years it has started covering these types of services, like diabetes or glaucoma screening, a flu shot, or a routine physical exam. And starting in 2011, Medicare Part B provides free preventive care services[3] such as an annual wellness doctor's visit or cancer screenings.
Discounts:
  • The Medicare Rights Center lists government programs[4] (like Medicaid or Veterans benefits) that might also help pay seniors' health care costs. Although the name is similar, Medicaid is a separate assistance program to help low-income individuals and families pay medical bills; Medicaid is not an insurance plan and is not the same as Medicare. For low-income seniors, a combination of Medicare and Medicaid may cover most health care needs. However, doctors and private hospitals or medical facilities which accept Medicare may not accept Medicaid.
Shopping for medicare part b:
  • A Medicare packet -- with coverage information, a Medicare card and a questionnaire -- will be automatically mailed to individuals three months before their 65th birthday. People who apply for Social Security retirement or survivors' benefits before age 65 do not have to submit a separate application for Medicare. The annual Medicare & You[5] handbook covers all aspects of Medicare. Signing up for or switching back to Medicare Part B can also be done during the annual general enrollment period, which is Jan. 1 to March 31 of each year, with coverage starting the following July 1.
  • Medicare.gov explains who is eligible[6] for Medicare and provides a confidential eligibility tool[7] .
  • If an individual doesn't enroll in Medicare Part B when first eligible but decides to sign up for it later on, the monthly premiums are increased by 10% for each 12-month period that the person was eligible for Part B coverage but didn't take it, according to Medicare.gov's Late Enrollment Penalty Calculator[8] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Give me a Freaking Break
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: a user in phoenix, AZ.Posted: October 26th, 2012 07:10AM
Type of Plan: n/aCoverage Provided: na/
Company: n/a
When I signed up for Social Security and Medicare, the woman showed me a computer screen of my entire life history to the day I walked in the place. The government can just give you what you need - they can get rid of a lot of people just by making it confusing so you don't get the coverage you need. And these Federal workers really don't give a damn anyway. She treated me like I was talking money out of her paychecks.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.medicare.gov/coverage/your-medicare-coverage.html
  2.  www.medicareinteractive.org/page2.php?topic=counselor&page=script&slide_id=170#top
  3.  www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prevention/PrevntionGenInfo/index.html?redirect=/PrevntionGenInfo/
  4.  www.medicareinteractive.org/page2.php?topic=counselor&page=script&slide_id=463#top
  5.  www.medicare.gov/Library/PDFNavigation/PDFInterim.asp?Language=English&Type=Pub&PubID=1...
  6.  www.medicare.gov/MedicareEligibility/home.asp?dest=NAV%7CHome%7CGeneralEnrollment&versi...
  7.  www.medicare.gov/MedicareEligibility/home.asp?version=alternate&browser=Chrome%7C3%7CWi...
  8.  www.medicare.gov/MedicareEligibility/home.asp?dest=NAV%7CHome%7CResources%7CSurchargeCa...
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