How does Part B on Social Security medical coverage work?


Quick Answer

Part B Medicare covers a portion of doctor services, outpatient care, lab services and certain therapies, according to California Health Advocates. Part B coverage is optional.

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Full Answer

If an individual decides he wants Part B Medicare coverage, he can expect to have services such as surgeries, lab tests and doctor visits partially covered, according to Medicare. Supplies like walkers and wheelchairs that are deemed medically necessary to treat a certain condition are also covered under Part B.

If the applicant is in a Medicare Advantage Plan or another Medicare plan, the rules may be different, but his plan must give him at least the same coverage as Original Medicare. Some services may only be available for patients with certain conditions, according to Medicare.

Part B covers limited outpatient drugs, a second opinion before a surgical procedure, clinical research, durable medical equipment, ambulance services, mental health services, inpatient and outpatient care, and partial hospitalization. An individual on Part B should talk with his doctor or health care provider about why he may need certain services to determine if those services are covered by Medicare. He may have to sign a notice stating that he agrees to pay for the service or supply if Medicare won't provide coverage, explains Medicare.

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