Medicare Part B

by Steve Wilson · 0 comments

Medicare Part B

Coverage for doctors’ services and outpatient care

What is Medicare Part B?
Medicare Part B is medical insurance that helps pay for doctors’ services, outpatient hospital care, durable medical equipment, and some medical services that aren’t covered by Medicare Part A.

How much does Medicare Part B coverage cost?

  • You pay the Medicare Part B premium each month – most often this is deducted from your Social Security check.
  • You also pay an annual Part B deductible before Medicare starts to pay its share
  • The Part B deductible and premium rates may change every year in January

Financial assistance available
You may be able to get help from Medicaid to pay your Part B premium and deductible – find out how.

What does Medicare Part B cover?

Medical and other services

  • Doctors’ services, but not routine physical exams except for a “Welcome to Medicare” one-time physical exam within the first six months you have Part B
  • Outpatient medical and surgical services and supplies
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Ambulatory surgery center facility fees for approved procedures
  • Durable medical equipment, including wheelchairs, hospital beds, oxygen, and walkers
  • A second – and sometimes a third – surgical opinion for non-emergency surgery that isn’t an emergency (in some cases)
  • Outpatient mental healthcare
  • Outpatient occupational and physical therapy, including speech-language pathology

Clinical laboratory services

  • Blood tests
  • Urinalysis
  • Some screening tests and more

Home health care

  • Reasonable and necessary part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care and home health aide services
  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology ordered by your doctor and provided by a Medicare-certified home health agency
  • When skilled nursing care or therapy services are being provided, home health aide services may also be covered if needed
  • Medical social services
  • Durable medical equipment, including wheelchairs, hospital beds, oxygen, and walkers
  • Medical supplies and other services

Outpatient hospital services

Hospital services and supplies received as an outpatient as part of a doctor’s care.


Pints of blood you receive as an outpatient or as part of a Part B-covered service.

Medicare Part B and Employer or Union Coverage
If you or your spouse work, and you have coverage through an employer, union or under COBRA, your Part B enrollment rights can be affected.

For more information call 1-800-MEDICARE; TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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