Medicare Part B cost covers the majority of medical services. In addition to hospital stays, this plan includes medical supplies. It is important to remember that Part B is medical insurance while Part A is hospital insurance. Both Parts are collectively known as the original Medicare.
What this part covers?
As mentioned earlier, it is medical insurance and covers most medical, and health services and supplies on top of the hospital stays. The coverage includes necessary services and preventive services.
Part B is the part of Medicare that you use when having a medical operation or if you need to see a doctor. If you need a walker or a wheelchair, then it will be covered by this part. Part B includes anything that is medically necessary.
Furthermore, this part covers any ambulance services if other transportation could not take you to the hospital safely.
The preventative services, on the other hand, include the laboratory services and health screenings, like heart disease, cancer, etc.
How much is the cost of Part B?
In 2017, the cost of Part B is $134 a month. But it is not the amount that most beneficiaries pay every month. The reason for this is that Part B has three categories and each one has different premiums.
The majority of beneficiaries pay premiums for their SS benefits. Thus, this group of people will only pay $109 a month on average. The remaining recipients pay the standard premium of $134. If your annual income is above a certain threshold, your premium for this part is higher. It will be based on your tax filing status and modified adjusted income.
For instance, if you’re a single filer and have an income of $87,000, then your monthly premium in 2017 is $187.50. If your annual income is above $214,000, then the monthly premium for this plan is $428.60.
The deductible for this part is $183 a year. After meeting it, you need to pay 20 percent of the services you obtained, as long as the Medicare approves them.
It is important to remember that Part B is funded by premiums and not hospital insurance.
You may have heard about Medicare in financial trouble. For now, the funds are safe. However, things must be changed in the coming years to resolve some gaps. The change could be in the form of reductions in benefits or privatization. It could also be an increase in tax.
Medicare Part B may be privatized in 2024. It is not definite yet but in the next few years could cause significant changes to the Medicare.
Does Part B have late enrolment penalty?
Yes, it does. All parts of Medicare have penalties for late enrolment. For the 12-month period of delay in enrolling, you need to pay 10 percent of the premium penalty. But you can avoid it if you have insurance from your job or your spouse has coverage.
Part B premium is based on your income. But the penalty is computed based on the standard premium of this plan. From there, the penalty is added to the actual premium amount.
What is the Medicare Part B cost if you are still working during the initial enrollment period?
You do not need to take this part if you are still working or your spouse is still working. The only time to delay Part B if the group insurance is the payer of the health care expenses. You need to talk to your employer to know how employer insurance can work with Medicare.
You are eligible for it if you are over 65. Your employer should have more than 20 workers to become the primary payer. To be eligible for Medicare as a result of SSDI, your employer must have over 100 employees to be considered as the primary payer.
However, if you work in an organization with less than 20 employees, then your primary coverage is Medicare. If this is your case, you must enroll in Part B during the initial enrolment period. If you delay your enrolment, then you do not have primary insurance. It is like not having insurance.
But if you have an insurance from your previous employer, you can still delay enrolment and avoid the penalties. Once you stop working, you can sign up for this Part through a special enrolment period.
While you are still working and you are over 65 years old, you can enroll in Part B without penalty. You also have up to eight months after losing your employer coverage to enroll in Part B without incurring any penalties.
Now, if there is a lapse in your coverage that is greater than eight months when you come 65, then you are not qualified for the SEP. This lapse will include a period when your insurance did not cover you from a previous employer or the Part B.
COBRA and retiree insurance are not current employer insurance. Thus, you are not qualified for the Special Enrollment Period to sign up for Medicare beyond the eight months period after you stopped working.
If your work status has changed, Medicare may change how it works with your current employer insurance. That’s why it is vital to all the Social Security if your work status has changed. In this way, you will know the changes in your coverage and learn how about the next steps you have to take so that you can obtain sufficient medical coverage.
On the other hand, if you are collecting Social Security before turning 65, then you are enrolled Parts A and B automatically. It is your prerogative to turn down Part B.
If you do, however, you must send back the card you received with the form and state that you do not want to be enrolled in Part B. Once you mailed it, you need to wait for a few weeks before you receive the new Medicare card with only Part A.
The Medicare Part B cost can be confusing at times. It is especially true if you just enrolled in it. That’s why it is vital that you talk to an insurance expert to help you better understand the coverage that you need.