This part of original Medicare provides medical insurance and covers all medically necessary services and supplies that you might need for effective treatment. Medicare part B covers a wide range of services, including outpatient and preventive care. Both Medicare Part A and Part B combine to form Original Medicare.
Unlike Part A, you will have to pay for premium Medicare Part B. In 2021, monthly premium Part B starts at $148.50. This article aims to help you understand what Part B covers and what it does not. It also aims to define Part B eligibility criteria, enrollment period, and more.
What does Medicare Part B cover?
Part B covers the following services;
- Doctor visits
- Outpatient and inpatient care services
- Preventive care services
- Clinical research
- Ambulance services
- Durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs, oxygen, etc.
- Part-time or intermittent home health
- Rehabilitative services
What does Medicare Part B not Cover?
Part B does not cover the following services;
- Dental care dentures
- Cosmetic surgery
- Nonmedical long-term care
- Vision care and eye exams for prescription glasses
- Exams for hearing aids
- Skilled nursing facility services
Who is eligible for Medicare Part B?
People, who are the beneficiary of Medicare Part A, are eligible for Part B. Like Medicare Part A, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare part B if they have already received social security advantages.
After the enrolment, you will get a red, white, and blue Medicare card about three months before you reach the age of 65. As a Medicare Part B beneficiary, you can go to any doctor who accepts Medicare, including an acute affiliated doctor.
If you’re not receiving social security benefits and are not eligible for premium-free part A Medicare. You will have to qualify for the following requirements to get your Medicare Part B.
- Your age must be at least 65
- You must be a US citizen
People under 65 and receiving social security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits may also qualify for automatic Medicare Part B enrollment.
When to Enroll?
As earlier mentioned, if you’re already receiving social security and retirement benefits through disability. You will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B; however, you’re at 65 and did not sign up for Medicare’s initial enrollment. You can sign-up for General Enrollment Period from January 1 to March 1.
If you’re not eligible for Medicare through automatic enrollment, you can apply through social security at a local security office or via their website. One thing more, once you have Medicare Part B at 65, your 6-months Medigap enrollment period begins. I highly recommend, don’t miss this initial guaranteed-issue enrolment period for a Medigap plan.
Delaying Part B Coverage
Some people do not sign-up for initial enrollment. This is because they’re still working and receiving health insurance coverage through their company or from where they work. Or maybe they’re using their spouse’s health insurance plan.
If you’re also working, don’t worry, you can sign-up later for the Medicare program. After retirement from your workplace, you will be given some time for a special enrolment period where you can sign-up for Part B without paying any penalty.