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Medicare Part B

Regardless of payment on other Medicare Parts, everyone pays for Medicare Part B. The average cost is approximately $96/month. If you and/or your spouse receive Social Security, the Medicare Part B costs are deducted from your check.

Part B covers outpatient care, some lab tests, some drugs, doctor visits, home health services, mental health costs and some medical equipment.

If you qualify for Medicare Part A, you are automatically qualified for Part B. Moreover, you are auto-enrolled in the program if you are 65 years old and receive Social Security payments. You may opt out of Part B, but check to see if there are any penalties for doing so. You may end up paying more at a later date. If you do not receive Social Security, you may still apply for Part B. Be aware that there is a penalty for signing up late for Part B. Those fees may run over $100/month.

The monthly fee for Part B is normally deducted from any Social Security payment you may receive. The cost varies from year to year and is tied to your income; should your income be over $85,000 or your household income over $170,000, the premiums for Part B Medicare become higher.

The annual deductible also changes each year. Once the deductible is paid, benefits begin, and Medicare then pays 80 percent of most Part B services. You are responsible for the other 20 percent.

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