Medicare, Part B...Explained

Medicare Part B coverage is outpatient medical coverage for medically necessary healthcare services. Many people think of it as medical coverage, but it also provides coverage for situations that may or may not require a hospital stay.  Look at this way, Medicare Part B coverage is any care given by doctors.

What Does Medicare Part B Cover?

Medicare Part B coverage gives access to a variety of outpatient medical services. Part B covers preventive care including colonoscopies, flu shots, mammograms and more. It covers common outpatient things like doctor’s visits, lab testing, home health care, ambulance rides, and some chiropractic care too.

Medicare Part B provides coverage for more costly services that sometimes happen in the hospital. Including treatments such as chemotherapy for cancer or radiation, diagnostic imaging, medical equipment, surgeries, and even dialysis needed for kidney failure. Part B is optional, but if Medicare is the primary coverage, then Part B is needed.  Medigap supplemental coverage is not available without it.

Medicare Part B Costs

Medicare Part B benefits require a monthly premium. Most people will pay the usual monthly amount set by the government. For new members the base rate amount was $134/month for Part B in 2018. If an applicant enrolls late into Part B, they may also have to pay the penalty for life. It’s important to advise clients to avoid missing the enrollment window whenever they retire and lose access to employer group health insurance. If an applicant is already enrolled in SS income benefits, Medicare will deduct Part B premiums out of Social Security checks. If not, they will bill the applicant quarterly. A credit card option is offered at the bottom of the quarterly invoices. Applicants just need to fill in the portion of the payment coupon at the bottom and mail it into the Medicare Premium Collection Center to pay Part B by credit card. Applicants also have the option to use Medicare Easy Pay, a free auto draft service that will deducts premium payments monthly from a checking or savings account.

How to Explain Sign-up for Medicare Part B

The Social Security office will automatically enroll people already taking Social Security income benefits at age 65. The card will arrive in the mail 1 – 2 months before their 65th birthday. Everyone else needs to apply for Medicare Part B themselves at age 65.  Applying for Medicare Part B can be done online, over the phone or in person at the local Social Security office. After they apply, it will take 2 – 3 weeks before their card arrives, so they should plan to apply several weeks before they need the coverage. If you are considering a role as a licensed life and health professional, it essential that you can explain these coverages to your clients. If you are looking for a deeper understanding and an insurance school that will equip you with the tools to not only pass your insurance exam and but counsel your clients, look no further.

This is part 7 of a multi-post series.  Please visit the other Insurance Career posts below:

Medicare, Medigap & Medicaid

Medicare Supplements (Medigap)...Coming Soon

Medicaid...Coming Soon

Medicare Part A

Medicare Part B...Now Playing

Medicare Part C

Medicare Part D

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