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Medicare Part B

Original Medicare consists of Medicare Part A and Part B. Medicare Part B is medical insurance. Get more information about Medicare Part B, including what you can expect in 2020.

What Does Medicare Part B Cover?

Medicare Part B covers two types of services. First, it covers medically necessary services. This includes the supplies and services that are needed to diagnose and then treat medical conditions.

It also covers preventative services. This includes doctor’s visits and other services that help you stay healthy throughout the year.

Medicare Part B also covers:

  • Clinical research.
  • Ambulance services.
  • Medical equipment.
  • Mental health services.
  • Second opinions prior to surgery.

In addition, it covers some outpatient prescription drugs, but this is not a viable option for prescription drug coverage. Medicare Part B typically only covers the medications you cannot administer to yourself, such as injections.

How Much Does Medicare Part B Cost?

You likely find yourself asking, “How much is Medicare Part B?” You need to consider the premium, deductible, and coinsurance when looking at the cost.

How Much Is the Medicare Part B Premium?

Medicare uses a standard premium amount each year. For 2019, the amount was $139.50. Most people pay that amount when getting Medicare Part B, although some have to pay more based on their incomes. Medicare adds an income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA) to premiums based on income level. The government uses the modified adjusted gross income to determine yearly earnings. The modified adjusted gross income is determined by taking the adjusted gross income and subtracting certain deductions.

Individuals who make $85,000 or less pay the standard premium amount. The same is true for couples who make $170,000 or less. If you make more than that, the additional amount will be added to your premium. The highest you can pay each month is $460.50. This is charged to people who make $500,000 or more and couples who make $750,000 or more. Also, people who are married but file separately have to pay this amount if they make $415,000 or more.

What Is the Medicare Part B Deductible?

If you get Medicare Part B in 2020, you will also be responsible for a deductible. The deductible was $185 in 2019. You do not have to pay the deductible for preventive services. However, you will need to meet the deductible for other services with Medicare Part B. After you meet the deductible, you will only be responsible for coinsurance.

How Much Is Coinsurance for Medicare Part B in 2020?

Your coinsurance is typically 20 percent of the amount approved by Medicare for services. You will pay coinsurance for most doctor services, durable medical equipment, and outpatient therapy.

How to Apply for Medicare Part B

You can enroll in Medicare Part B at your local Social Security Office. You can also call the office at 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the work week. In addition, you can enroll at www. SocialSecurity.gov.

You have to enroll during an enrollment period. The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) lasts seven months. It starts three months before the month you become 65 and finishes three months after. It is wise to enroll during this period so that you don’t have to pay a Part B late enrollment penalty. The penalty is calculated by taking 10 percent of the national standard premium for every 12 months you were eligible for Part B but did not have it. The penalty is added to your monthly premium and you will have to pay it every single month.

You can also sign up for Medicare Part B during the:

  • General Enrollment Period from Jan. 1 to March 31, 2020.
  • Special Enrollment Periods if you meet certain circumstances, such as losing employer-sponsored coverage.

Medicare Part B With Medicare Advantage

While you can get Medicare Part B from the federal government, it is also available in Medicare Advantage plans. These plans are required to offer Original Medicare, and many offer additional benefits as well. For instance, you can find plans that cover prescription drugs, vision, dental, and more. Many people save money by choosing Medicare Advantage plans due to all of the coverage options.

Get Help Choosing a Policy

You need health insurance so that you aren’t overwhelmed by expensive medical bills. You can get Medicare Part B directly through the government or shop around for Medicare Advantage plans. If you are not sure which option is best for getting Medicare Part B in 2020, speak to a licensed insurance agent. Your agent will help you compare costs and coverage so you can make the best decision.

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