Medicare Part B

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 preventive services.

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.