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Have You Considered Medicare Part B?

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Some things aren’t mandatory, but they’re certainly a good idea. For instance, you don’t have to turn your car off while getting gas, but it might be a little dangerous to leave it running. No one’s going to arrest you if you deviate from a recipe when baking a bundt cake, but then you run the risk of a collapsed treat.

Though some people have the belief that enrolling in Medicare Part B is mandatory when they turn 65, that’s actually not the case. However, delaying enrollment or failing to enroll may result in considerably higher medical bills and even a penalty. The latest numbers show that approximately 52.1 million people in the United States are beneficiaries of Medicare Part B. Let’s look at the advantages of enrolling in Medicare Part B.

Decreased Medical Costs

Defined by Medicare as outpatient coverage, Part B encompasses payment at 80 percent—once the premium is met—for expenses including doctor appointments, laboratory tests, physical therapy, imaging services, medical equipment, mental health services, preventive care, and more.

Although Part A pays for hospital room and board, it doesn’t cover some services that occur within the hospital. By having a Medicare Part B plan, you’re able to save on these out-of-pocket costs. Even if you’re currently in good health, you may need these more advanced healthcare services as you age.

Those with low incomes who are hesitant to do so because of the cost are recommended to enroll in Part B to avoid the penalty for not doing so. They may also qualify for Medicaid, in which case the premium isn’t as high.

Penalty Avoidance

The standard premium this year for enrolling in Medicare Part B is $134 per month, for those who filed a single tax return with $85,000 or less in income or those who filed jointly with $170,000 or less in combined income. If you’re ineligible for the standard premium, the Social Security Administration will notify you. According to the law, those 65 and over who aren’t covered by employer insurance or through a spouse and don’t enroll in Part B or delay doing so for more than a year are assessed a monetary penalty. This penalty is 10 percent of the premium for every year of non-enrollment.

Eligibility for Expanded Coverage

If you’re eligible to enroll in Medicare Part B and fail to do so but want a Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plan, you’re out of luck. Being enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B is a prerequisite for both registering and applying for these other plans.

As these advantages show, enrolling in Medicare Part B once you turn 65 may be beneficial for you unless you have other health insurance coverage in place.

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