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Medicare Part B is the section of health insurance coverage that takes care of doctor's visits, home health services, outpatient care and various other medical services. Seniors who do not sign up for Medicare Part B when it is first made available to them might have to pay a late enrollment fee when they do send in the paperwork. Medicare Part B is offered to the following people:
-Benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board
-Under the age of 65 and disabled
-If you suffer from ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis - Lou Gehrig's Disease)
Should you not want Medicare Part B, simply return the card that has been sent to you following the instructions on that card. If you do not want the coverage but do not send the card back, you will need to pay the premiums associated with this coverage.
Part B covers two types of medical services: medically necessary services and preventive services. Medically necessary services include services and supplies that are needed to diagnose and treat a patient's problems. These items must also meet accepted standards of medicine. Preventive services are services that are performed to prevent illness or to detect illness at an early stage, when the treatments available are highly likely to work efficiently.
Some Part B services do not have any costs, while others will cost a pretty penny to the patient. The costs depend on whether or not you have an original form of medicare or you are partaking in a medicare plan at the time. Part B is an important health plan to have, especially at an older age.
Navigating the often tricky area of health care coverage can lead many people to throw up their hands in frustration. While most Medicare holders are at least partially aware of the kind of coverage they have, it is very helpful to Compare Medicare Part B with Medicare Part A to understand the differences in coverage since each is unique.
Medicare Part A is the type of coverage that is typically used to pay for inpatient hospital expenses and skilled nursing care within the home upon hospital discharge, if it is medically warranted. Medicare Part A includes most hospital services, such as semi private hospital board, medication needed while in the hospital, physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy. The Medicare Part A hospital insurance does not require its eligible users to pay premiums but does have a hospitalization deductible that must be met with every hospital stay.
To Compare Medicare Part B to Medicare Part A, it is first necessary to understand that Part B will cost money, while Part A does not. However, Medicare Part B is the coverage that will cover those situations that occur when you are out of the hospital, which include a variety of non-emergency medical situations. Medicare Part B covers situations such as outpatient surgical procedures (where medically necessary), x-rays, laboratory testing, diagnostic testing, doctor visits, home health care, prosthetic devices like artificial limbs, and preventive care such as flu shots. Medicare Part B does not provide for general physicals, dental care, or vision care except in rare cases where such medical attention is necessary to overall health.
You must Compare Medicare Part B and Medicare Part A to decide which will work best for you. Many patients choose to combine the two plans to achieve the most health care coverage possible.
If you thought you were done with premiums when applying for Medicare Part B, think again. If you have a limited income, your state may help subsidize it, otherwise we're stuck with the Medicare Part B cost of the premium. This premium is going to be cheaper than individual insurance coverage.
So, now that you've paid, just what do you get for your money? In a nutshell, Medicare Part B will help pay for outpatient care, doctor's services and medical supplies. Part B will pay for services that are medically necessary. Yes, that can cover a lot of ground, so let's break it down.
Medicare Part B covers:
-Doctor's services as well as up to three medical or surgical opinions
-Outpatient hospital and doctor's services
-Surgical center fees
-Emergency room services
-Diabetes screenings and supplies, eye exams for people with diabetes
-Other medical supplies such as wheelchairs, walkers, oxygen
-Flu shots, hepatitis B shots, pneumonia shots
-Mental health outpatient services
-Therapies such as physical therapy, speech language therapy, medical nutrition therapy and occupational therapy
-Transplants and related drugs
This is not a complete list, but it does cover some of the more common services. The best way to determine if the service or treatment you need is covered is to ask the provider. They want to be sure they'll be paid, so they'll know for sure if Medicare Part B covers what you need or not. Or, you could read the dictionary sized manual that explains Part B in detail.