Medicare Part B or Medical Insurance.

By: Taylor

Congress created Medicare in 1965 under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act. Medicare, at its inception was to provide health insurance coverage to any United States citizen over the age of 65, regardless of their medical history or income level. At that time, only half of older adults in the United States had health insurance and the other half found it unavailable, due to preexisting medical conditions, or insurance was just not affordable on their limited income.

Any legal United States Resident, above the age of 65, who receive Social Security payments, are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) as well as Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance). Part B requires the payment of a monthly premium.

What Medicare Part B Covers

Part B of Medicare covers doctors’ services and outpatient care – such as doctors’ visits, nursing services, x-rays, diagnostic and lab tests, flu and pneumonia vaccinations, renal dialysis, blood transfusions, outpatient hospital procedures, limited ambulance transport, immunosuppressive drugs for transplant patients, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, medical treatments provided at a doctor’s office. Medications which are administered by a physician at his office are also covered under Part B.

Part B is optional and can be deferred if the beneficiary (or their spouse) is still working and has group health insurance through their employer. There is a lifetime penalty imposed for not enrolling in Part B unless they (or their spouse) are actively working and receiving medical coverage through their employer. Part B coverage begins once the beneficiary has met their deductible – in 2012 the deductible was $140 – after that point Part B covers 80% of approved medical services and the patient pays the remaining 20%.

The following list of medical needs are covered under Medicaid Part B.

Clinical research
Ambulance services
Mental health
Partial hospitalization
Getting a second opinion before surgery
Limited outpatient prescription drugs
Physician and nursing services
Laboratory and diagnostic tests
Influenza and pneumonia vaccinations
Blood transfusion
Outpatient hospital procedures and other outpatient services
Immunosuppressive drugs
Organ Transplant
Hormonal treatment
Durable medical equipment such as walkers, wheelchair and mobility scooter
Prosthetic devices such as breast implant after mastectomy, artificial limb and other such devices
Oxygen for home

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