Medicare Part B

3 things to know about Medicare Part B:

  1. It is medical insurance that provides coverage for medically necessary services and preventative services.
  2. You have to pay a monthly premium for it. The standard monthly premium is $135.50 in 2019, but you may pay more or less than that.
  3. Coverage for medical services and supplies comes with deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.

Medicare Part B provides medical insurance coverage. It covers many different services such as doctor visits and medical services.

Part B is optional. If you are automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, you can opt out of Medicare Part B. When you receive your Medicare card in the mail, just follow the instructions that come attached and send the card back. If you do not follow these instructions, you will be enrolled in Part B and must pay the Part B premiums.

Benefits

Part B is considered medical insurance. Part B covers a wide variety of medical services, including the following:

  • Initial "Welcome to Medicare" exam 
  • Yearly wellness exam 
  • Doctor services 
  • Ambulance services 
  • Chemotherapy 
  • Diagnostic tests and screenings 
  • Certain pap smear and mammography screenings 
  • Pneumonia and flu vaccinations 
  • Durable medical equipment

Costs

Your Part B costs will come in the forms of premiums, deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.

Part B premiums

Part B comes with a monthly premium. Many people pay the standard premium amount of $135.50 per month in 2019. 

You may pay higher or lower premiums than the standard premium based on how you pay your premium or your yearly income.

Part B deductibles, copayments and coinsurance

Part B also comes with a $185 annual deductible in 2019. Part B will not cover anything until you pay that amount each year that you use the coverage. 

In addition to the annual deductible, you must pay for a portion of the services covered by Part B. Usually, you must pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for a service. Part B covers the other 80%. 

So if your doctor charges Medicare $100 for a service covered by Part B, you could have to pay $20. Part B will pay for the remaining $80.