Medicare Part B is optional for all beneficiaries. Part B is medical insurance and covers certain outpatient care such as doctor’s office visits, preventive care, medical equipment and other qualified services.
In 2019, the standard Part B premium is $135.50 per month, but not everyone pays the same Part B costs.
In this guide, we break down the costs of Medicare Part B in 2019 so that you can understand more about this type of Medicare coverage.
Medicare Part B provides coverage for doctor visits and a variety of other medical services along with durable medical equipment (DME).
Part B coverage extends to preventive services such as:
Learn more about the types of services, supplies and care that are covered by Part B.
Medicare Part B services can include several different types of expenses, including, but not limited to:
Learn more about each of these types of Part B costs in 2019 below.
Some Medicare beneficiaries might pay more or less than the standard Part B premium in 2019 due to a few factors.
The chart below outlines the 2019 Part B premiums for beneficiaries affected by IRMAA based on their 2017 income.
|2017 Individual tax return||2017 Joint tax return||2017 Married and separate tax return||2019 Part B premium|
|$85,000 or less||$170,000 or less||$85,000 or less||$135.50|
|More than $85,000 and up to $107,000||More than $170,000 and up to $214,000||N/A||$189.60|
|More than $107,000 up to $133,500||More than $214,000 up to $267,000||N/A||$270.90|
|More than $133,500 up to $160,000||More than $267,000 up to $320,000||N/A||$352.20|
|More than $160,000 up to $500,000||More than $320,000 up to $750,000||More than $85,000 up to $415,000||$433.40|
|More $500,000||More than $750,000||More than $415,000||$460.50|
Part B beneficiaries must pay the first $185 of covered Part B services out of their own pocket before their Part B coverage kicks in. This is considered the Part B deductible.
The Part B deductible is annual, meaning it resets with each calendar year.
Example: The first time you receive services or items that are covered by Part B during the year, you are billed for $300. You must pay the first $185 of that bill out of your own pocket. Your Part B coverage is then applied to the remaining $115 of the bill.
You have now met your deductible for the year. You will not have to pay anything more towards your Part B deductible until the following year when the deductible resets.
Your Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment is the amount that you have to pay for covered services after meeting your annual deductible. The standard Part B coinsurance for most services and items is 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount.
Using the example from above, you would likely be required to pay 20 percent of the $115 that was left over after you met your Part B deductible. This 20 percent would equal $23.
In this example, your total spending for your $300 bill would be $208 (the $185 deductible plus the $23 coinsurance payment).
The premium, deductible and coinsurance are the three main expenses associated with Medicare Part B.
But there are two additional costs that Part B beneficiaries might face.
You may be able to find a $0 premium Medicare Advantage plan in your area.
Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) offers the same benefits covered by Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), and some Medicare Advantage plans also cover prescription drugs and other benefits such as routine dental care.
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