Medicare Part B 2023 Changes
Medicare Part B is a component of the Original Medicare plan that covers a wide range of medical services and supplies that are considered medically necessary. Some examples of the types of services and supplies covered by Part B include:
• Doctor’s services
• Outpatient care
• Durable medical equipment
• Home health services
• Physical and occupational therapy
• Some preventive services
Unlike Part A, which is primarily focused on hospital care, Part B covers a variety of medical services and supplies that are typically provided in outpatient settings, such as a doctor’s office or clinic. Part B also covers some home health services, as well as some preventive services that can help people stay healthy and prevent the onset of certain conditions.
Enrollment in Part B is optional, and there is a monthly premium that must be paid to participate in the program. However, most people who are eligible for Medicare choose to enroll in Part B in order to have access to a wider range of medical services and supplies.
What Happens If You Do Not Enroll In Medicare Part B During Your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period
If you are eligible for Medicare and you do not enroll in Part B during your initial enrollment period, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty if you decide to enroll at a later date. The amount of the penalty is based on the number of months you did not have Part B coverage, and it is added to your monthly Part B premium. The penalty is permanent and will continue if you have Part B coverage.
For example, let’s say you are eligible for Medicare but you do not enroll in Part B when you are first eligible. Two years later, you decide to enroll in Part B. Because you did not enroll during your initial enrollment period, you will have to pay a late enrollment penalty. The penalty is calculated by multiplying the number of months you did not have Part B coverage by the “national late enrollment penalty rate.” For 2021, the national late enrollment penalty rate is 10% per month. If you were without Part B coverage for 24 months, your late enrollment penalty would be 10% x 24 months = 240%. This means that your monthly Part B premium would be increased by 2.4 times the standard premium amount.
It is generally a good idea to enroll in Part B when you are first eligible, even if you are still working and have employer coverage, in order to avoid paying a late enrollment penalty.
What Are The Exceptions To Enrolling In Part B
There are a few situations in which you may be exempt from the late enrollment penalty for Medicare Part B:
• You have creditable coverage through an employer or union-based group health plan. If you have coverage through an employer or union that is considered to be at least as good as Medicare, you may be able to delay enrolling in Part B without incurring a penalty.
• You are eligible for a special enrollment period. If you lose employer or union coverage, you may be eligible for a special enrollment period during which you can enroll in Part B without paying a penalty. You must enroll in Part B within eight months of losing your employer or union coverage in order to be eligible for a special enrollment period.
• You qualify for a Medicare Savings Program. If you have low income and assets, you may be eligible for a Medicare Savings Program, which can help you pay for your Medicare premiums and other out-of-pocket costs. If you qualify for a Medicare Savings Program, you may be exempt from the late enrollment penalty for Part B.
• You have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). If you have ESRD and are eligible for Medicare, you are automatically enrolled in Part B. You are not required to pay a penalty for late enrollment in this case.
When Do I Have To Enroll In Medicare Part B
You are generally required to enroll in Medicare Part B during your initial enrollment period, which is a seven-month period that begins three months before you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends three months after the month you turn 65. If you are already receiving Social Security benefits when you turn 65, you will be automatically enrolled in Part B. If you are not receiving Social Security benefits, you will need to actively enroll in Part B during your initial enrollment period.
If you do not enroll in Part B during your initial enrollment period, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty if you decide to enroll at a later date. However, there are some situations in which you may be eligible for a special enrollment period or be exempt from the late enrollment penalty, such as if you have employer or union coverage or if you qualify for a Medicare Savings Program. I recommend contacting the Medicare program directly or speaking with a Medicare representative to get more information on your specific enrollment options and deadlines.
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This article has been written by Rolando Arellano J.D.
Hello, my name is Rolando Arellano and I am the President of AYA and Associates who are the creator of YOURMEDICARE.
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