is Part B Coverage of Medicare?
by: Mark Dacanay
Medicare is a social insurance program
that is being administered by the US government under the
Social Security Act.
It aims to provide medical insurance coverage for people who
are aged 65 or older, or those who qualify and meets the
To be eligible a person must be either of the following:
Sixty-five years and older, US citizens or permanent legal
resident for at least 5 years, who has paid or have spouses
who paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years.
Disabled, and have been receiving Social Security benefits
or Railroad Retirement Board Disability benefits for at least
Getting continuous dialysis treatment for end-stage renal
disease or need a kidney transplant.
Eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance and Lou
The in-patient benefits of Medicare are given automatically to
those eligible. This is a premium-free benefit that takes care
of all in-patient costs up to a maximum number of days that
includes hospital stay in a semi-private room and medication
related to the hospitalization.
Part B on the other hand has a monthly premium before it can
be taken advantage of. It is meant to help with some of the
costs that are not covered in Part A, most specifically
Medicare is voluntary, but once a person is enrolled, he/she
will have to pay the premiums.
In 2009, the premium is $96.40 per month for Part B coverage.
This is normally automatically deducted from their Social
Security monthly payments.
Part B coverage includes:
Coverage of physician and nurses services
Coverage of X-rays, laboratory and other diagnostics test
Vaccinations for Pneumonia and Influenza
Blood transfusions and renal dialysis
Immunosuppressive drugs for organ recipient patients
Hormonal Treatments such as Lupron
Oxygen for home use
Help in purchasing durable medical equipment (DME) like
canes, walkers and wheelchairs. This also includes prosthetics
such as artificial limbs.
One pair of eyeglasses after cataract surgery
Other outpatient procedures and medical treatments
administered in a doctors office
|How to Avail of
Medicare Part B
If you are already receiving Social Security benefits
then there is no need to enroll.
You will be automatically enrolled in Part A and B of
the Medicare Medical Insurance program on the month of
your 65th birthday.
Your Medicare card will be mailed
to you 3 months before your birthday. If you do not want
to avail of the Part B coverage, then you can follow the
instructions in the card.
However, if you are close to 65 and not
yet receiving your Social Security Benefits or Medicare, then
you can apply for both at the same time.
To make sure that the Part B coverage will not be delayed, you
should apply at least three months before your 65th birthday.
To apply, you can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or
you can just visit your local Social Security Office.
NOTE: Please call
Social Security or check with your local office for any plan
changes that may take place since the writing of the article