Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B is part of the Original Medicare program and is run by the Federal government. Medicare B helps cover medically-necessary services. It also covers some preventive services.

Once you start receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board Benefits, you are automatically eligible to get Medicare Part B benefits. There is a premium associated with Part B and you will automatically be charged.


To tell if you have part B, you will need to check your Medicare Card. If you do not want to have Medicare Plan B, you need to follow the directions on the Medicare Card to let Medicare know that you do not want it.

Medicare Part B Covers

  • Doctors’ services
  • Outpatient medical services and supplies
  • Surgical services and supplies
  • Ambulatory surgery center facility fees for approved procedures
  • durable medical equipment
    • Wheelchairs
    • Hospital beds
    • Oxygen
    • Walkers
  • Second surgical opinions
  • Outpatient mental health care
  • Outpatient physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech-language therapy
  • Home health services
  • Some preventive services

Medicare Part B Does Not Cover

  • Routine physical exams

Medically Necessary Services

Medicare Part B augments Part A (hospital insurance). It covers medically necessary services. Medically necessary services are services use to either diagnose or treat your medical condition. Also, supplies used to either diagnose or treat your medical condition are covered. Both medical services, and the supplies used, must meet accepted standards of medical practice.

Preventative Services

Health care treatment is most effective when illnesses are detected early. This is the reason, Medicare Part B covers certain preventive services. This is called preventive health care. Preventive health care is health care to prevent illnesses. An example of preventive health care is getting a flu shot.

Preventive services and supplies are also used to detect disease or illnesses at an early stage. Pap tests and colorectal cancer screenings are examples early detection services.

In most cases, you are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B when you get benefits from either social security or the Railroad Retirement Fund (RRB). Benefits start the first day of the month in which you turn 65. If your birthday is on the first day of the month, Part B coverage starts on the first day of the prior month.

Medicare Part B Premiums

There is a Medicare Part B premium that you must pay. It is a standard premium amount, but you might pay more. It depends on your income. If you have limited income and resources, it is possible to get help paying your Medicare premiums.

If you do not want Medicare Part B, you will need to follow the instructions that included with the card. You must send the card back. If you do not, you will be enrolled in Part B and have to pay Part B premiums.