What Is Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B is outpatient medical coverage for stays at any hospital or medical facility for less than 24 hours (even if your stay occurs overnight). It is part of Original Medicare and covers medically necessary services and supplies.

What Does Medicare Part B Cover?

Medicare Part B coverage can include outpatient preventive services such as your annual flu shot and annual wellness visit to prevent illness. It can also cover medical screening tests, such as cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer screenings to detect health conditions early so treatment is most effective.

Part B can cover ambulance services and durable medical equipment. Before Medicare Part B can cover your medical service or equipment, you first must pay $233 annual deductible for 2022.

Medicare Supplement plan doctor patient consult

Before Medicare Part B will cover your medical service or equipment, you first must pay $233 annual deductible for 2022.

Diabetes Screening And Supplies

Diabetes affects more than 37 million people, or about 11% of the U.S. population, and it’s estimated that about 33% of adults 65 and older are living with diabetes.

You may be at high risk for diabetes if you have any of the following:

Medicare Part B covers diabetes screening if your doctor determines you are at risk or diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Furthermore, you may be eligible for up to two screenings per year. After you are diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, Medicare Part B can cover the following supplies:

With Medicare national mail-order program, you can have diabetic testing supplies mailed directly to your home.


Medicare can also cover outpatient diabetic self-management training (DSMT) to help you learn how to better manage your diabetes. You can learn how to monitor your blood sugar, eat healthy, exercise, and manage your prescriptions. Medicare Part B costs for diabetes self-management training is 20% of the Medicare-approved amount and $233 deductible in 2022.

Mobility Equipment

Healthday reports an estimated 8.5 million seniors use mobility devices. In particular, more than 16% of seniors use canes.

Mobility equipment can improve your quality of life by making it easier to get around. 1 By learning how to operate mobility devices such as power wheelchairs and electric scooters, you can ride indoors and outdoors with independence and ease.

Having the freedom to go where you want when you want gives you mobility independence. Whatever mobility equipment you use, it helps you get out in the world and connect with people, especially the ones you love.

To qualify for Medicare to pay for mobility device, you must have a disability that prevents you from performing activities of daily living like bathing, dressing or using the bathroom. 2 If your doctor or healthcare professional certifies you can not perform these activities, then Medicare may pay 80% for you mobility device. Therefore, with Medicare Part B the cost you pay is 20% of the Medicare-approved amount and the $233 deductible for 2022.

Medicare Part B Preventive Screening Costs

You may pay nothing for these preventive screening tests if your doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts assignment. In other words, these services may be of no cost to you when your doctor or provider agrees to be paid directly by Medicare and to accept the Medicare-approved payment amount. Therefore, for free services, you may not be billed any more than Medicare Part B deductible cost of $233 in 2022. The table below show you the cost of preventive screening services covered by Medicare Part B:

Medicare Part B Preventive Screening Costs chart

Counseling and Training Costs

Medicare may only cover your counseling sessions if they are provided by a doctor and take place in a primary care doctor’s office or primary care clinic. However, a registered dietitian or nutritional professional can provide medical nutrition therapy (MNT) services if you have diabetes or kidney disease. You can  also get MNT if you have had a kidney transplant in the last 36 months, and Medicare Part B can provide you with counseling at no cost.

Medicare may cover up to 10 hours of initial diabetes self-management training (DSMT). You get one hour of individual training and nine hours of group training. In addition, you may qualify for up to two hours of follow-up training each year. To get DSMT, you pay 20% of the Medicare-approved cost and Part B deductible of $233 in 2022.

Biopsy occurs when a screening discovers the presence of abnormal tissue and the doctor removes a sample for later examination. For example, if a colonoscopy discovers a polyp, and the doctor removes it, you may pay 20% of Medicare approved amount for your doctor’s service.

Hepatitis is a medical condition defined by inflammation of the liver and characterized by the presence of inflammation cells in the organ tissue. It may occur with few or no symptoms, so it's important to get screened, especially if you are at high risk. Hepatitis can lead to jaundice, nausea, and in rare cases death. Some forms of hepatitis can cause cirrhosis and liver cancer.

The good news is hepatitis B shots may cost you nothing if you have any of the following medical conditions:

  • Hemophilia
  • End-stage renal disease (ESRD)
  • Diabetes
  • Live with someone who has hepatitis B
  • You are a health care worker and have frequent contact with blood or bodily fluids

Medicare Part B coverage includes prostate cancer screening every 12 months for men over the age of 50, including digital rectal exams and prostate antigen (PSA) blood tests. To get a digital rectal exam, you may pay 20% of the Medicare-approved costs and Part B $233 deductible in 2022. However, the PSA blood test may cost you nothing.

Medicare Part B can cover certain telehealth medical services with healthcare professionals using real-time video or phone communication. You are responsible for paying the 20% coinsurance and the Part B deductible.

Medicare Part B can provide you with the following counseling telehealth benefits:

How Do I Begin Medicare Part B Enrollment

You may automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part B if you receive Social Security income benefits. Consequently, you may receive your Medicare card two to three months before you turn 65. Otherwise, you can enroll in Medicare Part B in the following three ways:

  • Go online at www.ssa.gov
  • Call 1-800-772-1213.
  • Visit your local social security office and register in person.
Medicare Part B

What Is Medicare Part B Late Enrollment Penalty?

It’s important to enroll in Part B during your initial enrollment period, unless you have creditable coverage, such as employer group coverage. Otherwise, you will be subject to a penalty equal to 10% per year for every year (12 full months) you wait to enroll. The late penalty is added to your Part B premium for as long as you have Part B.

You may also need to wait for the Medicare General Enrollment Period to enroll in Part B. This period runs from Jan. 1 through March 31 each year. When you enroll during this period (and it’s after your initial enrollment period ) your benefits will begin July 1. In this case, you may owe late enrollment penalties and could have to wait months for your coverage to start.

What Does Medicare Part B Cost In 2022?

In 2022, Part B deductible increased to $233. After you pay this deductible, you may owe 20% coinsurance on Medicare-approved amounts. Your coinsurance costs can add up to thousands of dollars, especially for outpatient surgeries or chemotherapy, and there is no limit or cap on your 20% coinsurance cost.

Avoid unlimited coinsurance expenses by getting a Medicare supplemental plan. Then you can have fixed costs no matter how often you need medical care.

Medicare Part B Premiums for 2022

What Is Not Covered By Part B?

Medicare Part B does not cover inpatient hospital services and prescription drug coverage.

Other plans — such as Medicare Part A, Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage — can offer additional coverage you may need. Learn more about the Medicare parts that cover these benefits.

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