Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B


The Medicare program has several “parts,” and you may wish to understand them all when making your health-care coverage choices. Learning how Medicare works will help you choose the best plan for your needs. One part of the Medicare program is called Medicare Part B.

What is Part B?

Medicare Part A and Part B, together, are called Original Medicare. Through the Center for Medicare &Medicaid Services, the United States government set up Original Medicare to cover a wide range of medical expenses for individuals 65 and older and individuals with certain disabilities. Part A is hospital insurance.

Medicare Part B is medical insurance; coverage includes (but is not limited to):

What does it cover?

A range of preventive treatments, tests, services, and supplies are covered by Part B.

Medicare Part B covers the following:

Preventive and diagnostic services

*Doctor services don’t include routine physical exams except the one-time “Welcome to Medicare” exam. You can get this free exam from a Medicare-assigned doctor during the first 12 months you’re enrolled in Part B. After you’ve had Part B for longer than a year, you’re covered for one annual “Wellness” visit every 12 months.

Doctor, hospital, and home health care

Preventive shots

Additional services covered include, but are not limited to:

Part B premiums

You’ll typically pay a premium for Medicare Part B unless you qualify for financial assistance. Because of this, you have the option of turning it down, although you might pay a late-enrollment penalty if you decide to enroll in Medicare Part B later on. This monthly Part B premium amount may vary from year to year. Remember, you must have both Part A and Part B if you decide to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.

You can also check to see if you’re qualified to receive help from your state to help you pay for premiums or deductibles. Otherwise, the premium is usually deducted from a Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or Civil Service Retirement check. You can also choose to pay the Part B premium quarterly, through the electronic payment option, or through Medicare Easy Pay.

Overall, Part B provides many outpatient medical services to help minimize your health-care coverage worries. Still, it doesn’t cover everything; for example, routine dental care isn’t covered if you’re enrolled in Original Medicare, but some Medicare Advantage plans may offer this coverage. Whatever health-care coverage you choose, make sure you have a clear understanding of coverage options and costs.

Need help figuring out Medicare plan options that may work for your situation? Feel free to contact eHealth to speak with a licensed insurance agent and get assistance with your questions.

To learn about Medicare plans you may be eligible for, you can:

  • Contact the Medicare plan directly.
  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY users 1-877-486-2048; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Contact a licensed insurance agency such as Medicare Consumer Guide’s parent company, eHealth.
    • Call eHealth's licensed insurance agents at 888-391-2659, TTY users 711. We are available Mon - Fri, 8am - 8pm ET. You may receive a messaging service on weekends and holidays from February 15 through September 30. Please leave a message and your call will be returned the next business day.
    • Or enter your zip code where requested on this page to see quote.