Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B coverage

What Medicare Part B Covers

Medicare Part B also referred to as Medical Insurance, covers services and supplies from the doctor, outpatient care, preventive care and medical supplies.

Medicare Part B provides coverage for 2 types of services:

  • Medically necessary, services or supplies needed in-order to diagnose or treat a medical condition.
  • Preventive services, healthcare to prevent illnesses such as the flu or to identify it in its early stage when treatment is likely to work at its best.

Medicare Part B provides coverage for the following items:

  • Ambulance services
  • Clinical research
  • Durable medical equipment (DME)
  • Limited outpatient prescription drugs
  • Receiving a second opinion before surgery
  • Mental health
    • Inpatient
    • Outpatient
    • Partial hospitalization

Medicare Part B Related Costs

You pay a premium each month for Medicare Part B. If you receive Social Security, RRB or Office of Personnel Management benefits, your Part B premium is automatically deducted from your benefit payment.

The majority of Medicare beneficiaries will pay the standard premium amount of $134 in 2017 (may be higher depending on your income).

Social Security will inform you each year if you need to pay more than the standard premium.

Signing-up for Medicare Part B

You may sign up for Medicare Part B coverage once your Initial Enrollment Period begins. Here are the eligible times to sign up for Part B:

  • Your Initial Enrollment Period. You are eligible to sign up for Medicart Part A and Part B during the 7-month period that will start three months before the month you turn 65.
  • General Enrollment Period - January 1st thru March 31st of each year
  • Special Circumstances Enrollment Period - If you qualify, you have eight months to sign up for Part A and/or Part B. This period begins the month after your employment or group health insurance ends (whichever occurs first).

In many instances, if you do not sign up for Part B when you are first eligible, you will need to pay a late enrollment penalty for the length of the coverage.

Here are a few ways to sign up for Medicare Part B:


I have Medicare Part A already, how do I sign-up for Part B?

If you already have Medicare Part A and want to begin receiving Medicare Part B, visit your local social security office, go online or call them to request a CMS 40-B form (Application for Enrollment in Medicare Part B – Medical Insurance).

Are there penalties for not enrolling in Medicare Part B?

If you do not enroll in Medicare Part B when you are initially eligible, you will have to pay a late enrollment penalty for the length of time you have Part B.

The monthly premium for Part B may increase up to 10% for each full 12-month period you could have been enrolled in Part B. If you are allowed to enroll in Part B during the Special Enrollment Period, you do not pay a late enrollment penalty.

How do I terminate my Medicare Part B coverage?

While you are able to voluntarily cancel your Medicare Part B coverage, CMS deems this as a serious action so a personal interview may be requested.

A representative from Social Security will walk you through the completion of Form CMS 1763. This form is not available online so for more information on the termination of your Medicare Part B coverage contact your local social security office or call them 1-800-772-1213.

Can I sign-up for Medicare Part B if I have coverage through my employer?

If you have health insurance through your current or former employer, you should still sign-up for Medicare Part B as soon as you are eligible to avoid paying a late-enrollment penalty.

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