Medicare Part B assists with two types of important medical costs: Medically necessary services and preventative services. These typically include services that would be classified under outpatient care. However, Part B also includes coverage for a few unexpected medical services.
These are prescription drugs (only limited types), emergency transportation in an ambulance, non-emergency transportation in an ambulance and more. Read on to learn about these services.
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- Certain prescription drugs. In general, prescription drugs are covered under Medicare Part D. However, Part B covers certain drugs that need to be injected or used with medical equipment.
- Emergency ambulance transportation. Medicare Part B ambulance coverage kicks in when other types of ground transportation would put your health in danger. Likewise, it may cover air transportation when necessary.
- Non-emergency ambulance transportation. You can get this coverage with a written order from your doctor explaining why ambulance transportation is necessary outside of an emergency.
In addition to these services, Medicare Part B also covers clinical research, vaccinations and other medical services.
When it comes to mental health services, Part B covers inpatient and outpatient care. It also covers partial hospitalization. This is a type of psychiatric treatment option where you receive treatment at a facility during the day but do not need to stay overnight.
Finally, Medicare Part B may also pay for certain necessary medical equipment, including but not limited to:
- Blood sugar monitors and testing strips.
- Crutches, canes, wheelchairs, walkers, etc.
- Nebulizers and related medications.
- Infusion pumps.
- Oxygen equipment.
Depending on the type of equipment you need, Part B may help pay for you to buy it or rent it. Sometimes, however, you may need to pay for the equipment yourself.
Unlike Part A, Medicare Part B comes with a small monthly premium. However, the deductible is easy to meet, and copays for medically necessary services (like medical equipment), are very affordable compared to regular insurance.
Additionally, many preventive services (ex. screenings to detect illness) are completely covered.
Note: The sooner you sign up for Medicare Part B, the lower your premiums will be. Applicants who wait to sign up after they have been eligible for some time will have to pay a higher amount each month.