What is Medicare Part B?

When enrolling in a new Medicare plan, it’s important to understand how the different parts work together. The problem is, learning about Medicare can easily turn into a full-time job. To make things a little easier (and to help you save time) we’ve highlighted the most important aspects of Medicare Part B.

What is Medicare Part B?

Once you turn 65, you can enroll in Original Medicare which includes Parts A and B. Medicare Part B, also known as Medical Insurance, covers doctor and medical related services including:

  • Doctor’s office visits
  • Laboratory services
  • Medical equipment
  • Mental health services
  • Outpatient services
  • Ambulatory services
  • Some medical supplies

Learn about Medicare Part A here. 

When am I eligible to enroll?

You are first eligible to enroll in Medicare Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). This enrollment period includes the three months before your 65th birthday, the month you turn 65, and three months after your birthday.

If you don’t sign up during your Initial Enrollment Period, you can also enroll during the General Enrollment Period (January 1—March 31st each year). However, enrolling in Part B outside of your Initial Enrollment Period may result in a late enrollment penalty. This means you may be required to pay an extra 10% on top of your monthly premium for every 12 months you delay.

How much does it cost?

The standard monthly premium for Part B is $134 per month or higher depending on your income. However, the average premium if you receive Social Security benefits is $109 per month.

The annual deductible for part B is only $183 per year. Once you meet your deductible, you will be responsible for 20% of your health care bills.

What are my next steps?

Understanding all of your options can be tricky. If you’re still wondering what Medicare plan is right for you, check out our Medicare homepage. This is where we highlight all of the basics of Medicare to help you make an informed and confident decision.

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