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 you start paying 20% and Medicare covers 80% of your care.
- If you see a doctor who has not signed an agreement to accept Medicare-approved amounts, you will pay more -- possibly up to the full cost -- for a doctor's visit and care.