In the last blog post, we learned about Medicare Part A and we promised to cover Medicare Part B in our next post. A quick recap- Medicare is pretty straightforward. As easy as A, B, C...
As we mentioned in the in the last post, medicare is a national health insurance program, administered by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services of the U.S. federal government. United States Medicare is funded by a combination of a payroll tax, premiums and surtaxes from beneficiaries, and general revenue.
It provides health insurance for Americans aged 65 and older who have worked and paid into the system through the payroll tax. Check out Wikipedia for more information.
More about Medicare Part B
Part B covers non-hospital bills- mostly the ones connected to the Doctor and related bills. Part B has an income-adjusted monthly cost. To understand your part B costs and eligibility in detail, go to www.Medicare.gov. Part B is different from Part A in the sense that it is optional. Part B has a deductible that you must pay before coverage starts. Note that Part B does not offer coverage outside the United States. So if you have a lot of overseas travel planned after you are 65, then you need to think about additional insurance coverage.
What is covered in Medicare Part B?
You have to pay a deductible when you visit a doctor, have lab tests, or incur other medical bills. After this deductible is covered, Medicare pays 80% of the costs that are approved, without any limit. Please remember that you are responsible for 20% of the approved expenses plus any of the costs above the approved expenses. As an example, if you have knee surgery for $10,000, Medicare may, for example, approve $6,000 and pay $4,800 (80% of the approved cost). The rest- $5200 has to be paid by you! So, do make sure that you have a good idea of the costs of a procedure before you go for it. How do you do that? Well, that is the topic of another blog post. Do not assume that Medicare Part B covers your costs in full.The standard Medicare Part B premium amount is $135.50 (or higher depending on your income). For more details see this page.
Part B deductible and coinsurance
The deductible is $185 per year. After your deductible is met, you typically pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for most doctor services (including most doctor services while you're a hospital inpatient), outpatient therapy, and durable medical equipment. If any of the terms used here are not clear, you can go to www.explain.care/ellie and type in the term that you do not understand and the chatbot will extract the definition for you.In our next blog post, we will cover Medicare Part C. As usual, please keep your comments and feedback coming in.