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What Is Medicare Part B?

Your Medicare Part B enrollment may be automatic. If you need to sign up, you have multiple ways to enroll. Discover Medicare Part B medical coverage and cost as well as how you can avoid late enrollment penalties.

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What Does Medicare Part B Cover?

Medicare Part B coverage can include outpatient preventive services such as your annual flu shot and wellness visit to prevent illness. It can also cover medical screening tests, such as cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer screenings, to detect health conditions early so treatment is most effective.

Part B can cover ambulance services and durable medical equipment. Before Medicare Part B can cover your medical service or equipment, you first must pay a $240 annual deductible for 2024.


Before Medicare Part B will cover your medical service or equipment, you first must pay $240 annual deductible for 2024.

Diabetes Screening And Supplies

Diabetes affects more than 37 million people , or about 11% of the U.S. population, and it’s estimated that about 33% of adults 65 and older are living with diabetes.

You may be at high risk for diabetes if you have any of the following:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)

  • History of abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels (dyslipidemia)

  • Obesity

  • History of high blood sugar (glucose)

Medicare Part B covers diabetes screening if your doctor determines you are at risk or diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Furthermore, you may be eligible for up to two screenings per year. After you are diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, Medicare Part B can cover the following supplies:

  • Glucose test strips

  • Blood sugar testing monitors

  • Glucose solutions

  • Infusion pumps

  • Lancet devices & lancets

With Medicare national mail-order program, you can have diabetic testing supplies mailed directly to your home.

Medicare can also cover outpatient diabetic self-management training (DSMT) to help you learn how to manage your diabetes better. You can learn to monitor your blood sugar, eat healthy, exercise, and manage your prescriptions. Medicare Part B costs for diabetes self-management training is 20% of the Medicare-approved amount and $240 deductible in

Healthday reports an estimated 8.5 million seniors use mobility devices. In particular, more than 16% of seniors use canes.

Mobility equipment can improve your quality of life by making it easier to get around. By learning how to operate mobility devices such as power wheelchairs and electric scooters, you can ride indoors and outdoors with independence and ease.

Having the freedom to go where you want when you want gives you mobility independence. Whatever mobility equipment you use, it helps you get out in the world and connect with people, especially the ones you love.

To qualify for Medicare to pay for mobility devices, you must have a disability that prevents you from performing activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, or using the bathroom. If your doctor or healthcare professional certifies you can not perform these activities, Medicare may pay 80% for your mobility device. Therefore, with Medicare Part B, the cost you pay is 20% of the Medicare-approved amount and the $240 deductible for 2024.

Medicare Part B Preventive Screening Costs

You may pay nothing for these preventive screening tests if your doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts assignment. In other words, these services may be of no cost to you when your doctor or provider agrees to be paid directly by Medicare and to accept the Medicare-approved payment amount.

Therefore, for no-cost services, you may not be billed any more than the Medicare Part B deductible cost of $240 in 2024. The next table shows the cost of preventive screening services covered by Medicare Part B:


Counseling and Training Costs

Medicare may only cover your counseling sessions if they are provided by a doctor and take place in a primary care doctor’s office or primary care clinic. A registered dietitian or nutritional professional can provide medical nutrition therapy (MNT) services if you have diabetes or kidney disease. You can also get MNT if you have had a kidney transplant in the last 36 months, and Medicare Part B can provide you with counseling at no cost.

Medicare may cover up to 10 hours of initial diabetes self-management training (DSMT). You get one hour of individual training and nine hours of group training. In addition, you may qualify for up to two hours of follow-up training each year. To get DSMT, you pay 20% of the Medicare-approved cost and Part B deductible of $240 in 2024.

Enrollment in Medicare Part B

Is your enrollment in Medicare Part B automatic? You may automatically enroll in Medicare Part B if you receive Social Security income benefits. Consequently, you may receive your Medicare card two to three months before you turn 65. Otherwise, you can choose from the following Medicare Part B enrollment options:


What Is Medicare Part B Late Enrollment Penalty?

It’s important to enroll in Medicare Part B during your initial enrollment period, unless you have creditable coverage, such as employer group coverage. Otherwise, you will be subject to a penalty equal to 10% per year for every year (12 full months) you wait to enroll. The late penalty is added to your Part B premium for as long as you have Part B.

You may also need to wait for the Medicare General Enrollment Period to enroll in Part B. This period runs from Jan. 1 through March 31 each year. When you enroll during this period (and it’s after your initial enrollment period ) your benefits will begin July 1. In this case, you may owe Medicare Part B late enrollment penalties and could have to wait months for your coverage to start.

What Does Medicare Part B Cost In 2024?

In 2024, Part B deductible increased to $240. After you pay this deductible, you may owe 20% coinsurance on Medicare-approved amounts. Your coinsurance costs can add up to thousands of dollars, especially for outpatient surgeries or chemotherapy, and there is no limit or cap on your 20% coinsurance cost.

Avoid unlimited coinsurance expenses by getting a Medicare supplemental plan. Then, you can have fixed costs no matter how often you need medical care.

Medicare Costs 2024 Part B Premiums - chart 1.png
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What Is Not Covered By Part B?

Medicare Part B does not cover inpatient hospital services and prescription drug coverage.

Other plans — such as Medicare Part A, Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage — can offer additional coverage you may need. Learn more about the Medicare parts that cover these benefits.

Call Senior Healthcare Direct at 1-833-463-3262 to speak with a licensed agent.