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What services does Medicare Part B cover, what are the costs and how to know the eligibility?

Medicare Part B covers two types of services; medically necessary and preventive services. You can enroll in Medicare if you are a US resident age 65 and older.

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Medicare Part B covers two types of services; medically necessary and preventive services. You can enroll in Medicare if you are a US resident age 65 and older. In 2024, the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees is $174.70.

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a federal insurance program for people aged 65 or older, younger people with disabilities, or people with End-Stage Renal Disease. 

The Medicare services are divided into four parts; 

  • Part A (inpatient care in the hospital, home health care, hospice care, nursing home care and skilled nursing facility care).
  • Part B (Medically necessary services and preventive services).
  • Part C (also known as Medicare Advantage, alternative to traditional Medicare sold by private health insurers).
  • Part D (Prescription drugs)

Medicare Part B has the widest range of health benefits and coverage exclusions.

Services covered by Medicare Part B 

There are two types of services covered by Medicare Part B;

  • Medically necessary services: These are services needed to diagnose or treat your medical condition. These services or supplies must meet the accepted standards of medical practice.
  • Preventive Services: These services include health care to prevent illness or detection at its early stage and when treatment is most likely to work best.

Medicare Part B Covers:

  • Clinical research 
  • Ambulance services: Ambulance transportation to or from a;
    • Hospital 
    • Critical access hospital
    • Rural emergency hospital
    • Skilled nursing facility 
    • Sometimes, a helicopter if you need immediate transport the ground ambulance transportation cannot provide.
  • Durable medical equipment (DME): This equipment can be rented to you by Medicare or you can also possess them after making a certain number of rental payments. The Medicare DME includes, but is not limited to:
    • Blood sugar meters
    • Blood sugar test strips
    • Commode chairs
    • Continuous passive motion machines, devices, and accessories 
    • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines
    • Crutches 
    • Hospital beds
    • Infusion pumps and supplies 
    • Nebulizers and nebulizer medications 
    • Oxygen equipment & accessories 
    • Patient lifts
    • Pressure-reducing support surfaces
    • Suction pumps
    • Traction equipment 
    • Walkers 
    • Wheelchairs and scooters
    • Canes
  • Mental health: There are special services for mental health care enrollees such as;
  • Limited outpatient prescription drugs: These are drugs that you cannot typically give yourself and will need to receive in a doctor’s office or a hospital outpatient setting. Some of these drugs are;
    • New Alzheimer’s drug
    • Drugs induced the durable medical equipment (DME)
    • Some antigens
    • Injectable osteoporosis drugs
    • Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents
    • Blood clotting factors
    • Injectable and infused drugs
    • Oral End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) drugs
    • Parenteral and enteral nutrition (intravenous and tube feeding)
    • Intravenous Immune Globulin (IVIG)
    • Shots (vaccinations)
    • Transplant/immunosuppressive drugs
    • Oral cancer drugs
    • Oral anti-nausea drugs

Cost of Medicare Part B 

The Medicare Part B premium, deductible, and coinsurance rates are determined yearly according to provisions of the Social Security Act.

The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees is $174.70 for 2024. Compared with the 2023 monthly premium of $164.90, there has been an increase of $9.80. 

There is also a difference in the annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries. For 2024, the deductible is $240 compared to $226 in 2023, this shows an increase of $14.

Eligibility for Medicare Part B 

You can easily calculate your Medicare eligibility online. However, these are the necessary requirements you must meet, to access any of the Medicare services listed in this artcle.

  • You must be age 65 or older
  • You must be a US resident 
  • You must be a US citizen or an alien with a permanent residence who has resided in the US for a continuous period of five years prior to the Medicare filing
  • You must be younger than 65 years with certain disabilities 
  • You must be any age and diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)

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