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What is Medicare Part B?

What is Medicare Part B?

Medicare Part B is one of four parts in the Medicare system: A, B, C, and D. Medicare Part A and Part B make up Original Medicare. As your local advisor in Medicare, we’re here to explain the basics of Medicare Part B: what it covers, how much it costs, and other important items for you to know.

What does Medicare Part B cover?

Where Part A is hospital insurance, Part B is doctor’s insurance. It generally covers two types of medical services.

First, Part B covers medically necessary services and supplies, such as outpatient doctor visits, tests, wheelchairs, and walkers. Second, it covers preventive services such as annual wellness exams or routine screenings.

More examples of Part B covered services include:

  • Ambulance services
  • Mental health services
  • Getting a second opinion before surgery
  • Limited outpatient prescription drugs

Is Medicare Part B mandatory?

Not technically. However, if you do not enroll when you are eligible at age 65 or take the proper steps to defer coverage, you can incur penalties that stick with you for life.

Our advisors are here to help you navigate this process. If you’re nearing your Medicare eligibility or have questions about avoiding late enrollment penalties, email

How much does Medicare Part B cost?

Medicare Part B has three associated costs: an annual deductible, a monthly premium, and coinsurance for covered medical services.

Medicare Part B Costs in 2022
  • Annual deductible: $233
  • Monthly premium: $170.10 (for most Medicare enrollees)
  • Coinsurance: 20 percent of the total cost of covered services

You only pay the 20 percent coinsurance after meeting your annual deductible. At this point, Medicare will pick up 80 percent of your covered medical costs. Note that there is no cap on the 20 percent you are responsible for paying.

Read more about how terms like deductible, premium, and other plan costs are defined.

Keep in mind, the figures above apply if your only coverage is Original Medicare. One way to lower your out-of-pocket costs is by exploring your Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan options. Let our advisors do the research for you at no cost!

Questions? Your local partner in Medicare has answers.

If you have questions about your plan options or deferring Medicare Part B, contact our team of advisors in Dayton and Cincinnati. You can email us at or call us at 855.465.2773. We look forward to guiding you towards the right health coverage for your needs.