What is Medicare Part B

What is Medicare Part B

What is Medicare Part B - Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) helps cover doctors’ services and outpatient care. It also covers some other medical services that Part A doesn’t cover, such as some of the services of physical and occupational therapists, and some home health care. Part B helps pay for these covered services and supplies when they are medically necessary.

What is Medicare Part B - Cost

Cost: The Medicare Part B premium each month ($108.20 per month in 2008). In some cases, this amount may be higher if the beneficiary didn’t sign up for Part B when they first became eligible.

What is Medicare Part B - Caution

Caution: If the beneficiary didn’t take Part B when they were first eligible, the cost of Part B will go up 10% for each full 12-month period that they could have had Part B but didn’t sign up for it, except in special cases. They will have to pay this penalty as long as they have Part B.

They also pay a Part B deductible each year before Medicare starts to pay its share. The Part B deductible for 2008 is $110.00. The beneficiary may be able to get help from their state to pay this premium and deductible.

Medicare deductible and premium rates may change every year in January.

Medicare covers many of your health care needs. Today’s Medicare is working with private companies approved by Medicare that provide different ways to get your health care and prescription drug coverage in the Medicare Program. The Medicare plan that you choose affects many things like cost, benefits, doctor choice, convenience, and quality. Your Medicare plan choices include:

The Original Medicare Plan – This is a fee-for-service plan that covers many health care services and certain drugs. You can go to any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare. When you get your health care, you use your red, white, and blue Medicare card.

The Original Medicare Plan pays for many health care services and supplies, but it doesn’t pay all of your health care costs. There are costs that you must pay, like coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles. These costs are called “gaps” in Medicare coverage. You might want to consider buying a Medigap policy to cover these gaps in Medicare coverage. You can also add prescription drug coverage by joining a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

Medicare Advantage Plans – Available in many areas. If you have one of these plans, you don’t need a Medigap policy. These plans include:
  • Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO),

  • Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO)

  • Private Fee-for-Service Plans

  • Medicare Special Needs Plans

  • Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans (MSA)
These plans may cover more services and have lower out-of-pocket costs than the Original Medicare Plan. Some plans cover prescription drugs. In some plans, like HMOs, you may only be able to see certain doctors or go to certain hospitals to get covered services.

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