Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B is an optional Medicare plan that covers outpatient care. For instance, it pays for visits to a doctor’s office, tests, and preventive health care like cancer screenings and vaccines. Part B also covers some medical supplies, like blood sugar test strips, therapeutic shoes, and more.
This coverage is available to three basic groups -- those over age 65, the disabled, and those with end-stage kidney disease.
For Medicare Part B, you may pay:
- A standard monthly premium of $104.90 to $335.70, depending on your income
- A deductible, which is a set amount you pay each year before Part B starts paying for any of your care; for 2015, the deductible for most people is $147.00.
- Twenty percent of the Medicare-approved amount for some types of care; these are doctor's appointments, physical therapy, diabetes supplies, durable medical equipment like commode chairs, wheelchairs, and others. You have to meet your deductible before Medicare begins to cover 80% of your care, leaving you to pay the remaining 20%.
- If you see a doctor who has not signed an agreement to accept Medicare-approved amounts, you mayl pay more -- possibly up to the full cost -- for a doctor's visit and care.