Medicare Part B. What’s Changed for 2016?
How Much Does it Cost?
Part B premiums will undergo significant changes in 2016. The deductible will go up to $167 per year for all participants. The premium amounts will vary depending on your circumstances. If your Medicare premium is currently being deducted from your Social Security check, your premium remains the same at $104.90. If you are 65 and not currently collecting Social Security or you are enrolling in Medicare for the first time, and your income is less than $85,000 per year, your premium will be $121.80 plus a $3.00 service fee. The total payment will be $124.80.
2016 Monthly Premium Amounts
- $104.90 – If you currently have your Medicare premium deducted from your Social Security payment.
- $124.80 – All those who do not have a Medicare premium deducted from a Social Security payment now and earn less than $85,000 per year.
Premiums for High Earners
If your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) reported to the IRS in the previous two years is $85,000 or more, your premium payment will be higher.
- $85,000 to $107,000 Pays $170.50
- $107,000 to $160,000 Pays $243.60
- $160,000 to $214,000 Pays $316.70
- Above $214,000 Pays $389.80
What Does Part B Cover?
Part B covers most doctor visits, lab tests, x-rays, outpatient procedures, and emergency room visits. It may cover medically necessary equipment and supplies such as canes, walkers, oxygen, and scooters. Medicare does not cover dental, vision, or hearing aid services. It is suggested you get approval from Medicare before purchasing any supplies or equipment. Everything must be deemed medically necessary for your specific condition. On Medicare’s website you can enter the service or item in question and receive the conditions for which it will be covered by Medicare.
Part B services are generally covered at 80% with the patient being responsible for the remaining 20%. This applies to services provided by doctors who participate in Medicare. For services with non-participating physicians, you may have to pay more. Find out if your doctor participates before receiving services so that you know what your responsibility will be.
Part B covers certain preventative procedures such as but not limited to colorectal screening, bone density testing, cancer screening, diabetes screening, glaucoma tests, HIV tests, flu shots, and a yearly wellness visit.
Unlike private insurance companies, which have a limit to how much you personally pay, there is no such limit with Medicare. There is no out-of-pocket maximum. Frequent doctor visits and laboratory testing can result in high costs to the patient.
For Part B:
- You must have Part A.
- Deductible is $167 per year.
- Premium is between $104.90 and $389.80 per month.
- Covers doctor visits, lab tests, x-rays, and more.
- Co-pay is generally 20% of the cost of services.