Is Medicare Part B Mandatory?

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Medicare Part B coverage is not mandatory. An individual can go outside of the plan network for Part B services and receive a reimbursement from Medicare when Medicare is the primary payer.

Medicare Part B is essentially medical insurance. It covers services and supplies that are deemed medically necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of a health condition.These include care service received at a hospital and care received at a doctor’s office, a clinic or another health facility. Medicare Part B also covers a number of preventive services that help prevent illness or detect a condition at an early stage. Part A and Part B Medicare combined are known as Original Medicare.

The services and supplies covered under Medicare Part B include the following: doctor’s visits, X-rays and lab tests, ambulance services, mental health care, durable medical equipment, preventative services such as flu shots, pap tests and other screenings, and therapy services including occupational therapy, speech pathology services and physical therapy.

The cost of Medicare Part B varies, but individuals may pay a higher premium if they make above a pre-determined amount set by the government. Also, if an individual did not enroll in Part B when he was first eligible, he may pay a higher premium.