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Medicare Part B – Medical Insurance Under Medicare
What is Medicare Part B?
Medicare Part B helps cover medically-necessary services like doctors' services, outpatient care, and other medical services. Part B also covers some preventive services. These include a one-time "Welcome to Medicare" physical exam, bone mass measurements, flu and pneumococcal shots, cardiovascular screenings, cancer screenings, diabetes screenings, and more.
Who Can Enroll in Medicare Part B?
Anyone who is eligible for free Medicare hospital insurance (Part A) can enroll in Medicare medical insurance (Part B) by paying a monthly premium.
Medicare Part B Premiums for 2011
Most Medicare beneficiaries will continue to pay the same $96.40 or $110.50 Part B premium amount in 2011. Beneficiaries who currently have the Social Security Administration (SSA) withhold their Part B premium and have incomes of $85,000 or less (or $170,000 or less for joint filers) will not have an increase in their Part B premium for 2011.
For all others, the standard Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $115.40 in 2011, which is a 4.4% increase over the 2010 premium. The Medicare Part B premium is increasing in 2011 due to possible increases in Part B costs. If your income is above $85,000 (single) or $170,000 (married couple), then your Medicare Part B premium may be higher than $115.40 per month.
The chart below shows the Part B monthly premium amounts for 2011 based on income. These amounts change each year. There may be a late-enrollment penalty.
|Medicare Part B Monthly Premium in 2011|
Source: Medicare.gov Support Center: 2011 Part B Premium Amounts for Persons with Higher Income Levels
|You Pay||If Your Yearly Income is|
|File Individual Tax Return||File Joint Tax Return|
|$115.40||$85,000 or less||$170,000 or less|
|$161.50||$85,001 - $107,000||$170,001 - $214,000|
|$230.70||$107,001 - $160,000||$214,001 - $320,000|
|$299.90||$160,001 - $214,000||$320,001 - $428,000|
|$369.10||Above $214,000||Above $428,000|
|Source: Medicare.gov Support Center: 2011 Part B Premium Amounts for Persons with Higher Income Levels|
|You Pay||If You Are Married but You File a Separate Tax Return From Your Spouse and Your Yearly Income is|
|$115.40||$85,000 or less|
Part B Deductible and Coinsurance Amounts for 2011
The annual deductible for Medicare Part B is $162.00 per year. After the deductible is met, you pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for services rendered.