What is Medicare Part B?
Medicare Part B helps take care of your doctor visits, outpatient care, home health service, preventative services as well as any services when admitted to the hospital.
What Does Medicare Part B Cover?
- Clinical Research
- One-Time “Welcome to Medicare” Wellness Exam
- Annual “Wellness” visit every 12 months
- Laboratory Test (X-Rays, blood work)
- Medical Equipment (wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, home oxygen equipment, etc.)
- Prosthetics & Orthotics
- Mental Health Care (inpatient, outpatient and partial hospitalization)
- Ambulance Services
- Preventative Services
When Should I Apply For Medicare Part B?
Initial Enrollment Period – this is a 7-month period that includes:
- the three months before the month you turn 65
- the month of your 65th birthday
- the three months after the month you turn 65.
Special Enrollment Period– if you or a spouse is still working, you may sign up anytime while you have group health coverage or during the 8-month period that begins the month after employment or coverage ends, whichever occurs first.
General Enrollment Period – between January 1 and March 31 each year. Your coverage will start July 1st of that year. The cost of Medicare Part B will go up 10% for each 12-month period that you could have had Medicare Part B but didn’t take it (unless you have other creditable coverage). You will have to pay this late enrollment penalty as long as you have Medicare Part B.
How Do I Apply for Medicare Part B?
If you have to sign up for Medicare Part B, you can enroll in one of the three ways listed below by the time appointed in the When Should I Apply For Medicare Part A? Section.
- Applying via the Social Security’s website: http://www.socialsecurity.gov
- Calling Social Security 1-800-772-1213, TTY 1-800-325-0778
- Visiting your local Social Security office
If you already receive benefits from Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), you do not have to sign up. You will automatically get Part B benefits starting the first day of the month you turn 65. Your red, white and blue Medicare card will be mailed to you three months before your 65th birthday. Note: If your birthday is on the first day of the month, your coverage will begin the first day of the prior month.
If you are disabled, you automatically receive benefits after your 24th month of receiving Social Security disability benefits. Your card will be mailed to you three months before your 25th month of disability.
Can I Apply For Both Social Security and Medicare at The Same Time?
Yes. You should apply three months before the month you turn 65. You may do so by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213, TTY 1-800-325-0778, stopping by your local Social Security office or by visiting http://www.socialsecurity.gov.
How Much Does Medicare Part B Cost?
$104.90 / month for beneficiaries who are currently enrolled in Medicare (prior to 2016), whose premium is taken out of their monthly Social Security benefit
$121.80 / month: For those who:
- Will enroll in Part B for the first time in 2016
- Are not collecting Social Security benefits
- Have their Part B premiums paid by Medicaid
This amount may change each year. Most people will pay the standard Part B monthly premium. However, those with a higher income may pay an Income Related Monthly Adjustment. (IRMAA). If your income is above $85,000 (single) or $170,000 (married couple), then your Medicare Part B premium may be higher.
Besides the monthly premium, do I have to pay anything else for Part B?
You will be responsible for an annual deductible of $166.00. (This is for 2016)
After you meet your deductible, Medicare pays for 80% of the Medicare-approved amount of the service. Typically, you are responsible for paying the other 20%, unless you join a Medicare Health plan to take care of the costs. Trusted Senior Specialists helps you enroll in Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement Plans that can cover the 20%. Call 855-474-6234 Mon-Fri (8AM-8PM CST) for help.