Many people automatically qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A, which covers emergency expenses and treatment related to inpatient care. So, what about Medicare Part B? Should you get Part B? How much does Part B coverage cost? What are the Medicare Part B excess charges? What’s the Part B late enrollment penalty? We will answer all of these questions and more, but first, let’s take a closer look at what Medicare Part B costs and what it covers.

What Is Medicare Part B Coverage?

Medicare Part B is half of what is known as Original Medicare. Original Medicare includes Part A and Part B, and generally covers your basic healthcare needs for both inpatient and outpatient treatment. However, while many people automatically get Part A coverage (at no cost to them), Part B is a little different. In any case, let’s see what Part B covers:

  • Clinical research
  • Ambulance services
  • Durable Medical Equipment (DME)
  • Mental health services
  • Some preventative services
  • Medically-necessary outpatient care

Do You Need Medicare Part B?

The answer to this question will vary a little for everyone. If you have coverage through an employer or private insurer that covers some or all of the same things as Part B, then you likely don’t need it. However, if you’re only relying on Medicare Part A, you almost certainly need Part B coverage. Part B is included in every Medicare Advantage plan, so you only need to worry about signing up for Part B if you don’t have another insurance plan to cover the gaps.

How Much Does Medicare Part B Cost?

As of 2021, the minimum monthly premium for Medicare Part B is $148.50. This amount increases if your annual income is above $88,000 (individual filers) or $176,000 (joint filers). Additionally, the annual deductible and coinsurance come to $203. If you apply for Part B coverage after your initial enrollment period, you may need to pay the Part B late enrollment penalty. This penalty will add 20% to your monthly Part B premium for as long as you maintain coverage. Finally, if you go to a doctor who does not accept the Medicare-assigned cost of treatment, you will have to pay a 15% excess charge for the care.

The Bottom Line

Part B may seem more expensive than Part A initially, but it’s much more complicated than the monthly premium. You also have to factor in the kind of care, as well as the costs of deductibles, coinsurances, late enrollment penalties, and excess charges. In any case, we are currently in the middle of the 2021 General Enrollment Period (GEP). This means that you can still sign up for Medicare Part B until March 31st!

If you’d like to learn more about Medicare Part B or your Medicare coverage options, feel free to fill out this form or give us a call anytime. Time for 65’s partnered licensed agents are focused on giving you the information you need, with zero pressure to enroll in a plan.