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What is Medicare Part B?

Medicare Part B is medical insurance. This is the outpatient component of Medicare coverage. Part B helps to cover two types of medical care:

  • The first is medically necessary services and medical supplies that meet accepted standards of medical practice and are necessary to diagnose or treat a medical condition.  These services generally do not involve an overnight stay in a healthcare institution but do include doctors’ services, chiropractic care, outpatient care, emergency department care, and durable medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and walkers.
  • The second is preventive services including flu and pneumonia vaccinations, mammograms, and colonoscopies, to name a few.

Part B is optional insurance. Those who want it must pay a monthly premium.  Beneficiaries who choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or purchase a Medigap policy must have both Part A and Part B. 

Last updated: 08-29-2018