What does Medicare Part B Cover?
Out of four parts of Medicare, two form part of Medicare Original. These two parts are Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. If you are entering retirement age soon, you must have already known what does Medicare Part B covers. And if you have not known about it, you must get the knowledge to better understand your rights and budget your retirement.
Medicare Part B combines with Medicare Part A to give extensive coverage to the enrollees against their medical care expenses. Collectively, the Medicare Parts A and B of Medicare Original cover all the basic health care services for the enrollees. Medicare Advantage also covers these two parts; however, their extent of coverage may vary.
But the question remains,
What does Medicare Part B Cover?
The answer to this question is not straightforward and varies for illnesses under consideration. The coverage of Medicare Part B points towards two separate streams of healthcare services. These streams are:
- Medically necessary services and
- Preventive services.
Medically Necessary services include all those health care facilities which are counted among necessities. All medical services to diagnose a patient’s illness or giving treatment to cure this ailment will be included in medically necessary services.
On the other hand, preventive services relate to all those vaccinations or early detection services which help the patients in taking preventive measures against diseases. So, preventive services also include early stage detections.
Cost Coverage Simplified
Till now, we have discussed the areas of medical care covered in this part of Medicare. Now, we shall discuss actual costs which might be covered under it.
Medicare Part B covers diagnostic services costs, including costs associated with:
- Clinical research,
- Ambulance services,
- Second opinion service costs before surgery,
- And certain out-patient services.
- The treatment costs covered under this part include those of:
- Durable medical equipment,
- Inpatient, outpatient, and hospitalization costs of mental health care services, and
- Limited outpatient subscription drugs.
Factors Affecting Coverage of Costs
Once again, the coverage presented by Medicare Part B is not straightforward. There are various factors which determine if a certain cost is covered by this government-backed insurance program or not. These factors which can alter the cost coverage from case to case include:
Federal and state laws,
National coverage decisions from Medicare concerning different items’ coverage, and
Local coverage decisions are based on the discretion of companies involved in Medicare claim processing.
To answer your question of what does Medicare Part B cover, you can consult one or both two different information sources.
First, you can ask your medical practitioner or health care services provider if Medicare Part B covers the service you are availing or not. In certain conditions, when the answer to your inquiry is not clear-cut, they would inform you about the related out-of-pocket costs you may encounter using Advice Beneficiary Notice of Non-coverage. The practitioner will require you to read and sign this notice as an indication of an informed decision on your part.
Secondly, you can visit the Medicare official website to understand if a specific cost is covered or not.
Like all other Medicare Plans and Parts, the coverage presented by Medicare Part B is not unambiguous. The underlying ambiguity arises from the vast variety of medical care costs that need attention in the document of Medicare Part B definition and explanation. However, enrollees can educate themselves before they start receiving their benefits to minimize their out-of-pocket costs without compromising on the quality of health services they receive.
What Does Medicare Part A Cover?