Doctor and Patient

Medicare Part B

There are two parts to Original Medicare. The second is Medicare Part B; this part deals with outpatient care and most doctor services.

What Does Part B Cost?

Most people will pay the standard Part B premium amount.

In 2021, the standard Part B premium amount is $148.50.

If your modified adjusted gross income exceeds a certain amount, you may be subject to an Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). IRMAA is an extra charge in addition to your Part B premium. This charge is determined by your tax return from 2 years ago.

Visit the Medicare and Social Security websites for more information about Part B premiums.

Part B Enrollment

Some people get Medicare Part B automatically and some people need to sign up for it.

If you don't sign up for Part B when you first become eligible, you might have a late enrollment penalty. 

Part B Payment

Your part B premium is automatically deducted from your Social Security benefit (or Railroad Retirement).

If you don't receive either of these benefits, you will receive a bill for your Part B premium.

What Does Part B Cover?

Part B Covers:

  • Medically necessary services, both inpatient and outpatient, including speech and physical therapy

  • Preventative services, such a flu prevention

  • Clinical research

  • Ambulance services

  • Durable medical equipment

  • Mental health care: outpatient, inpatient, and partial hospitalization

Each calendar year, you are responsible for the Part B deductible which, in 2021, is the first $203 worth of services. After the deductible has been met, Medicare will generally cover 80% of approved medical charges. The remaining 20% is also your responsibility, without a "cap" and no "stop loss".

This is when a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan comes into play.

You can obtain a plan that pays the 20% excess charge and, depending on when you went on Medicare, may also pay the Part B deductible

(see the Medicare Supplements tab).