There are four different parts of Medicare: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. Learning about the unique features of each part is important in educating yourself. When you understand what each part covers and doesn't cover, you can make the right decision on the best plan for your needs. This article will discuss the ins and outs of Medicare Part B.
Medicare Part B is a health insurance program with government oversight.
It is designed to be available to everyone who meets the eligibility
requirements. Overall services covered by Medicare Part B include
physician appointments, physical or occupational therapy, outpatient
services, certain types of home health care, and some additional
services not already covered by Medicare Part A. Beyond these services,
when enrolled under Medicare Part B, you also can receive coverage for
The majority of people covered by Medicare Part B will have to pay the
premium price listed for it. You may be able to qualify on a state by
state basis for assistance to help you pay your premiums, deductibles,
or both. However, if you do not qualify for aid from the state, your
premium will typically be deducted from your social security railroad
retirement, or civil service retirement checks, if you get any. You can
also pay your premiums each quarter through electronic payment options
or through Medicare easy pay. Since January 2007, premiums for Medicare
Part B have been based on personal income levels.
As described above, Medicare Part B will cover most of the services and
treatments that are not already covered by Part A of Medicare, including
certain tests, preventive care, and other general services. However,
although Medicare Part B is designed to cover numerous services not
already covered by Medicare Part A, it will not cover all services, and
it will tend to only pay parts of the costs of the services it does
cover. It is important to educate yourself thoroughly on the limits of
coverage provided by Medicare Part B. Some of the more commonly covered
services are described in the following paragraphs.
Medicare part B will usually cover a number of preventive services
including general health exams, immunizations, lab tests and blood work,
as well as other medical procedures surrounding the prevention,
diagnosis, or management of specific medical concerns. Processes like
urine analyses are also covered.
Medicare Part B will cover screenings related to the cardiovascular
system, as these screenings are important for the prevention of strokes
and heart attacks. As a result, triglycerides and cholesterol levels
will be tested, and lipid levels may be tested every 5 years. Glaucoma
tests will be covered once a year, but they will need to be performed by
eye examiners covered under the patient's health plan. Bone mass
measurement tests may be taken every two years. These are designed to
assess your risks of breaking bones and developing osteoporosis. If you
have been previously diagnosed with obesity, high blood sugar, or high
blood pressure, you are eligible for screenings for diabetes. Similarly,
you can receive coverage for diabetic training classes if your
physician prescribes such classes as therapy. You will also receive
coverage for diabetic supplies and blood sugar monitors.