Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B is part of Original Medicare. It covers medically necessary care and preventative services. This includes doctor visits, outpatient care, cancer screenings, medical equipment and more. The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B is $164.90 in 2023.
- Written by Christian Simmons
Christian Simmons is a writer for RetireGuide and a member of the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE®). He covers Medicare and important retirement topics. Christian is a former winner of a Florida Society of News Editors journalism contest and has written professionally since 2016.Read More
- Edited ByLamia Chowdhury
Lamia Chowdhury is a financial content editor for RetireGuide and has over three years of marketing experience in the finance industry. She has written copy for both digital and print pieces ranging from blogs, radio scripts and search ads to billboards, brochures, mailers and more.Read More
- Reviewed ByMichael Jones
Medicare Expert and Owner of Grand Anchor Insurance Solutions
Michael Jones is a licensed insurance agent who manages his own agency called Grand Anchor Insurance Solutions. In addition to being a Medicare expert, Michael specializes in other insurance products such as voluntary benefits for employees of businesses.Read More
- Published: April 27, 2020
- Updated: June 19, 2023
- 4 min read time
- This page features 11 Cited Research Articles
- Edited By
- Medicare Part B is the part of Original Medicare that handles outpatient treatments, services and medically necessary care.
- Part B also covers preventive care including screenings and lab tests, as well as mental health and medical equipment.
- Most Americans are eligible for Part B when they turn 65. Unlike Part A, Part B comes with a monthly premium.
What Does Medicare Part B Cover?
- Medically Necessary Services: Doctor visits and anything needed to diagnose or treat a medical condition.
- Preventative Care: Services and screenings to prevent illness or provide early detection.
- Ambulance transportation
- Medical equipment
- Mental health
- Limited outpatient prescription drugs
- Clinical research
- Lab tests
Annual wellness visits are a way to monitor your health and may include a cognitive impairment assessment to screen for Alzheimer’s Disease.
The Part B deductible doesn’t apply for yearly wellness visits or most preventive services.
Paying for Part B may be something you want to start preparing for early. The standard Part B payment is $164.90, but depending on your income, you may be responsible to pay over $575 each month.
Medicare Part B Enrollment & Eligibility
Most Americans are eligible for Medicare Part B when they turn 65. Some people can get Part B at a younger age if they have certain disabilities, like end-stage renal disease or ALS.
How to Sign Up for Medicare Part B
If you are already receiving Social Security when you turn 65, then you should be automatically enrolled in Part B. If not, you need to sign up with Social Security when you first become eligible.
You can sign up at the Social Security website or by calling 800-772-1213.
Important Medicare Deadlines
If you are new to Medicare, you will first become eligible to enroll three months before the month of your 65th birthday. This period ends three months after it, creating a seven-month window to enroll.
If you don’t enroll during this window, you may be penalized by having to pay a higher Part B premium when you do enroll.
If you missed your initial enrollment period, you can then enroll during the General Enrollment Period. It lasts from Jan. 1 to March 31 each year, with your Medicare coverage starting on July 1. Remember that you may face a late enrollment penalty if you didn’t sign up for Medicare when first eligible.
Costs & Deductibles for Medicare Part B in 2023
You pay a monthly premium, or fee, for Part B coverage. Your premium is automatically deducted from your benefit payment if you receive Social Security. Otherwise, you’ll receive a bill.
The standard Part B premium amount is $164.90 for 2023. Your cost may be higher if your adjusted gross income as reported on your individual IRS tax return from two years ago is above $97,000.
You must pay your Part B premium every month even if you don’t use it.
- Standard Premium: $164.90
- Deductible: $226
- Coinsurance: 20% after deductible is met
What Does Medicare Part B Not Cover?
Medicare Part B can cover many treatments and services if they are deemed medically necessary.
Anything that is not considered a medical necessity, such as cosmetic and non-medical procedures, will likely not be covered. Treatments that are not strictly related to health like massages or acupuncture are also not covered.
- Cosmetic surgery
- Dental care
- Hearing aids
- Routine foot care
Part B also does not cover several key areas of health for older adults such as hearing, vision and dental. Coverage for these services is typically only available through a Medicare Advantage plan, which is provided by private insurers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Medicare Part B
11 Cited Research Articles
- U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2022, September 27). 2023 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles 2023 Medicare Part D Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/2023-medicare-parts-b-premiums-and-deductibles-2023-medicare-part-d-income-related-monthly
- U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2022). When Can I Sign Up for Medicare? Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/basics/get-started-with-medicare/sign-up/when-can-i-sign-up-for-medicare
- U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2022). What Part B Covers. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/what-part-b-covers
- U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2022). When Can I Buy Medigap? Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/supplements-other-insurance/when-can-i-buy-medigap
- U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2022). Yearly Wellness Visits. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/yearly-wellness-visits
- U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2020, November 6). 2021 Medicare Parts A and B Premiums and Deductibles. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/2021-medicare-parts-b-premiums-and-deductibles
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2019, August 8). VA Health Care and Other Insurance. Retrieved from https://www.va.gov/health-care/about-va-health-benefits/va-health-care-and-other-insurance/
- Social Security. (n.d.). How to Apply Online for Just Medicare. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare/
- U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Fact Sheet: Deciding Whether to Enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B When You Turn 65. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Find-Your-Provider-Type/Employers-and-Unions/FS3-Enroll-in-Part-A-and-B.pdf
- U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Medicare Part B Coverage: Preventative screening services. Retrieved from https://edit.medicare.gov/coverage/preventive-screening-services
- U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Part B Late Enrollment Penalty. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/basics/costs/medicare-costs/avoid-penalties
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