Medicare Part B coverage provides you access to a variety of outpatient medical services. Part B covers preventive care including flu shots, colonoscopies, mammograms and more. It covers ordinary outpatient things like doctor’s visits, lab testing, home health care, ambulance rides, and some chiropractic care too.
However, Medicare Part B also covers services that sometimes occur in the hospital.
This includes things like physician’s services, radiation or chemotherapy for cancer, surgeries, diagnostic imaging, medical equipment, and even dialysis for failing kidneys. Medicare Part B will also pay for drugs administered in a clinical setting, such as osteoporosis injections, infused drugs, antigens, and insulin that is used with an insulin pump.
Otherwise, outpatient drugs fall under Part D.
Part B is optional, but if Medicare is your primary coverage, you definitely need Part B. You also cannot get Medicare supplement coverage (Medigap) without it.
Medicare Part B provides coverage for normal outpatient medical services once admitted to a hospital and some homebound services administered by physicians and skilled nurses or therapists.
Those taking Social Security income benefits at age 65 will typically not need to enroll. The Social Security office will automatically enroll you. Your card generally arrives in the mail 1-2 months prior to your 65th birthday.
All others will need to apply for Medicare Part B themselves at age 65. This can be done online, over the phone, or in person at your local Social Security office. After applying, it generally takes 2-3 weeks for your card to arrive in the mail. So, it is best to ensure that you are applying several weeks prior to when coverage is needed.
To apply for both SS retirement benefits and Medicare at the same time, visit this link:
To apply for just Medicare, visit this link: