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What is Medicare Part B?
Medicare Part B Premiums
Unlike Part A, Medicare Part B always requires you to pay a monthly premium. Be mindful, however, that how much you pay can actually increase if your income is above a certain amount.
You will be notified by Social Security if you have to pay more than the standard premium. If you have to pay a higher amount for your Part B premium and you disagree (even if you get Railroad Retirement Board benefits), call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.
Be aware that If you DO NOT SIGNUP FOR Par B when you are first eligible, it is HIGHLY LIKELY that you will have to pay a late enrollment penalty. That penalty is 10% for each full 12-month period that you could have had Part B, but didn't sign up for it. You will have this penalty as long as you have Medicare Part B benefits.
What Medicare Part B Covers and Does Not Cover
Just like Medicare Part A covers your inpatient and other hospital related services, Part B covers services like doctors’ services, outpatient care, home health services, and other medical services.
Part B also includes some preventive services such as pap smears, flu shots, or anything else that can prevent an illness or result in early detection. Many preventive health screenings are available to you at no charge.
You can check your Medicare card to find out if you already have Part B.
Medicare Part B Eligibility
Your Medicare initial enrollment period begins 3 months before your 65th birthday, the month of your 65th birthday, plus the 3 months following your birthday month.
If you refuse Part B during your initial enrollment period, you may sign up during the general enrollment period which runs from January 1 through March 31.
Please be aware that this late enrollment will require you to answer health questions for approval.
If approved, your coverage will begin on July 1 of that year and you may be subject to a late enrollment penalty.
If you have coverage through an employer group health plan you may choose to delay your Part B enrollment until such time as the employer plan terminates. Once you lose the employer health plan you have up to 8 months under a Special Election Period in which to enroll in Medicare Part B without penalty.
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