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Medicare Part B Overview-What Exactly Does it Cover?

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Medicare Part B is the part of Medicare that covers medical services, medical supplies, and doctor visits. It is provided by the government to certain individuals who meet the qualifying guidelines.

This insurance covers expenses incurred for doctor visits, outpatient, and home health care. In addition, it will cover equipment needed by patients for therapeutic purposes. Canes, crutches, and wheelchairs are just some of the types of medical equipment Medicare Part B covers. Ambulance costs may also be covered.

Outpatient Care Covered by Medicare Part B

Outpatient care is covered by Medicare Part B.  This is the care and services you receive in a hospital before a doctor admits you to the hospital as an inpatient. Services covered as an outpatient may include surgery, lab work, and medicine administered intravenously. EKGs are also covered under outpatient care. An Emergency Department visit is considered an outpatient service covered by Medicare Part B.

 Home Health Care Covered by Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B will pay for a nurse to come to your home. The nurse will monitor your illness, give injections if necessary, and administer wound care to you if needed. Your vital signs will be taken by the nurse, and she will check to make sure you are taking the medication you should be taking when you should be taking it. Home care also includes physical therapy, speech therapy, and other types of healthcare services. Home health care only covers nursing care if it is given on a part-time and on and off basis.

Medical Equipment Covered by Part B

Aside from canes, crutches, and wheelchairs, Medicare Part B covers  various medical equipment. Things such as glucose monitors and test strips, portable toilets, CPM machines and hospital beds are covered. Additionally, pumps for suction and pumps for administering drugs and accessories for people needing oxygen are covered. Equipment such as walkers are also covered. The medical equipment prescribed must be medically needed in order for it to be covered by Medicare Part B. Your home is where the equipment must be used. The equipment must be ordered for a medical purpose and used for that medical purpose.

 Preventive Services Covered by  Part B

Medicare Part B does cover preventive services. Some services may be a one-time screening while others may be covered more than once. Some of the preventive services Medicare Part B covers include screenings for bone density and heart disease. Also, screenings for certain types of cancer, diabetes, glaucoma and depression are covered.Flu shots, hepatitis B shots, and pneumococcal shots are covered as well. Medicare Part B also offers a preventive wellness visit every year and nutrition therapy services.

Who Qualifies for Medicare Part B?

If you have Medicare, you qualify for Medicare Part B. You may not be able to get coverage for Medicare or Medicare part B until you are 65 years old. Certain individuals younger than that can get coverage if they are disabled. Someone who requires dialysis because their kidneys no longer function or someone who has had a kidney transplant may also qualify for Medicare and Medicare Part B.

Do I Have to Get Medicare Part B?  

Medicare Part B is not something you must have. If you decide to enroll in this plan, you will have to pay a fee. The majority of people who have Medicare Part B pay a standard amount in premiums, but people with higher incomes can sometimes have higher premiums to pay. Note that if you do not enroll for Medicare Part B when you do become eligible for it, you could be penalized, and you may be subject to a late enrollment fee.

Premiums for Medicare Part B

You will find that the premiums for Part B will vary slightly from year to year. The standard premium in 2019 was approximately $135 per month. The premium is automatically taken from your Social Security check each month. If you don’t receive Social Security, you will be billed every third month. The amount you pay depends on your yearly income. For instance, if your yearly income is more than $85,000, your premium jumps to $189.60. For a more detailed income guide line visit the SSA website.