Is It Mandatory To Have Medicare Part B?

What Is Medicare Part B?

Medicare Part B is one of the parts of Original Medicare. It covers the following: 

  • Services deemed medically necessary. This includes services and/or supplies that meet the accepted standards of medical practice and are required to determine or treat a medical condition.
  • Preventive services. These services are intended to prevent illness or detect it early when treatment is more effective. 

The following preventive and screening services are covered under Medicare Part B: 

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening
  • Alcohol misuse screenings & counseling
  • Bone mass measurements (bone density)
  • Cardiovascular disease screenings
  • Cardiovascular disease (behavioral therapy)
  • Cervical & vaginal cancer screening
  • Colorectal cancer screenings
    • Multi-target stool DNA tests
    • Screening barium enemas
    • Screening colonoscopies
    • Screening fecal occult blood tests
    • Screening flexible sigmoidoscopies
  • Depression screenings
  • Diabetes screenings
  • Diabetes self-management training 
  • Flu shots
  • Glaucoma tests
  • Hepatitis B shots
  • Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection screening 
  • Hepatitis C screening test
  • HIV screening
  • Lung cancer screening
  • Mammograms (screening)
  • Nutrition therapy services
  • Obesity screenings & counseling
  • One-time “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit
  • Pneumococcal shots
  • Prostate cancer screenings
  • Sexually transmitted infections screening & counseling
  • Shots:
    • COVID-19 vaccines
    • Flu shots
    • Hepatitis B shots
    • Pneumococcal shots
  • Tobacco use cessation counseling
  • Yearly “Wellness” visit 

Medicare Part B can also cover ambulance services, clinical research or clinical trials, mental health services, limited outpatient prescription drugs, and medically necessary durable medical equipment prescribed by your doctor for home use.

Is It Mandatory To Have Medicare Part B?

Medicare Part B is not mandatory, but it may feel mandatory since there are penalties for delaying enrollment. You’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B if any of the following apply to you:

  • You’re under 65 and have a disability.
  • You get retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.
  • You have Lou Gehrig’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
  • You get benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board and live in Puerto Rico.

If you’re not automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B, you may choose to enroll or delay enrollment. If you do decide to delay enrollment, make sure you consider the following:

  • Group health plans through employers may have different coverage rules if you’re eligible for Medicare. Make sure you check with your plan and ask how it would work with and without Medicare.
  • You’ll likely face a late enrollment penalty for delaying coverage. To avoid the penalty, you need to enroll in Medicare when your employment (or spouse’s employment) ends or your group health care coverage ends.

Who Should Get Medicare Part B?

Most people should get Medicare Part B. You may not want to get Medicare Part B if you:

  • Are currently working and have coverage through your job
  • Have coverage through your spouse
  • Have TRICARE, as well as being an active-duty or retired service member

Turning 65 and Feeling Overwhelmed?

Healthcare shouldn’t feel complicated. At Temmen Insurance, we specialize in simplifying the Medicare process and making suggestions based on your needs. We help you get the coverage you need so you can get back to what really matters: enjoying your life. For more information about Medicare Part B, give us a call today.

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