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What Does Medicare A & B Cover – Medicare Part B Overview

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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. Additionally, equipment to be used by patients for therapeutic purposes can be covered. Also, canes, crutches, and wheelchairs are just some of the types of medical equipment Medicare Part B covers.

Outpatient Care Covered by Medicare Part B

Outpatient care covered by Medicare Part B is the doctor care and services you receive in a hospital.  However, it does not require an overnight stay in the hospital. Examples of services covered as an outpatient may include surgery, lab work, and medicine administered intravenously. In addition, EKGs are covered under outpatient care. Also, 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. First, your vital signs will be taken by the nurse. 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. However, home health care only covers nursing care if it is given on a part-time and on and off basis.

Medical Equipment Covered by Medicare Part B 

Aside from canes, crutches, and wheelchairs, Medicare Part B covers much more. Examples of equipment covered includes:

  • glucose monitors
  • glucose test strips
  • portable toilets
  • CPM machines
  • hospital beds
  • pumps for suction
  • pumps for administering drugs
  • accessories for people needing oxygen
  • walking equipment

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. In addition, the equipment must be ordered for a medical purpose and used for that medical purpose.

Does Medicare Part B cover Preventive Services?

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 include screenings for the following:

  • bone density
  •  heart disease
  •  certain types of cancer
  •  diabetes
  • glaucoma
  • depression

In addition to screenings,  preventive shots such as flu, hepatitus B and pneumococcal are included with Medicare Part B. Also, a preventive wellness visit every year and nutrition therapy services are included.

Who Qualifies for Medicare Part B?

If you have Medicare, you qualify for Medicare Part B. Remember, though that 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 may also qualify for Medicare and Medicare Part B.

Do I have to Get Medicare Part B and Is there a Fee for it?

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. However, 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.