What is Medicare Part B?

MN Health Staff Writer | June 15, 2021

What does Medicare Part B cover?

  • Treatments and supplies that are medically necessary to either treat or diagnose

e.g. doctor visits, ambulance services, mental health services, physical therapy, outpatient care, home health care, chemotherapy

  • Preventative health care

e.g. flu shots, screenings, tests

  • Durable medical equipment

e.g. wheelchairs, portable oxygen equipment, walkers

What does Medicare Part B cost?

Medicare Part B Deductible

The Part B deductible for 2020 is $198.

Medicare Part B Premiums

If you receive benefits from one of the following, your Part B premium will be deducted from your benefit payment:

- Social Security

- Railroad Retirement Board

- Office of Personnel Management

Majority of people that pay a Part B premium pay the standard amount. In 2020, the standard amount is $144.60.

There may be an income related monthly adjusted amount (IRMAA) if the modified gross income on your tax return is above a fixed amount. This is shown in the table below.

Part B Premiums

Medicare Part B Co-insurance

For most doctor services, durable medical equipment (DME), and outpatient therapy you will pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount after meeting your deductible.  However, there are some services that you will pay nothing for, such as an annual wellness visit.

This 20% can get quite costly for things like chemotherapy and surgeries. There are Medicare Supplement Plans to help keep those expenses down.

You need to have both Medicare Part A & B to get a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan.

What is the Medicare Part B Penalty?

There is the possibility that if you do not enroll in Medicare Part B when you first become eligible, you will have to pay a late enrollment penalty. The penalty is a 10% increase in your monthly premium for every full 12-month period you were eligible for Part B but did not enroll.

For example, if your initial enrollment was March 2018 and you did not sign up for Medicare B until May 2020, your penalty will be 20% of your premium for the two full 12-month periods you waited.



Category: Medicare Supplement