Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B is the second part of Original Medicare. Part B covers medical insurance and various outpatient medical services that are deemed medically necessary to diagnose or treat a condition. 

To qualify for Part B, you must be 65 years old or above. Under certain conditions, people under 65 may be able to register for Part B.

What Does Part B Cover?

Medicare Part B covers 80% of the approved costs of certain services after meeting the deductible. Part B covers the cost of outpatient medical services, i.e., services you do not receive while admitted as a patient in a hospital, though there are some exceptions. To get coverage from Part B, you must visit healthcare providers or suppliers approved by Medicare. Medicare Part B covers doctor visits and preventive screenings from approved healthcare providers. 

Part B covers emergency room services and specific same-day medically necessary surgical procedures. Under Medicare Part B, you can also get coverage for some vaccines such as pneumonia and flu shots. Part B covers other outpatient services such as preventive screenings for heart disease, STIs, lung cancer, glaucoma, diabetes, and depression. 

It also covers colonoscopies, preventive mammograms, pap smears, durable medical equipment, emergency transportation services, laboratory tests, and some home healthcare services. However, there are some services that Part B does not cover. Examples include vision care and hearing aids.

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Eligibility and Enrollment

If you are 65 or older, you can enroll for Medicare Part B during the Initial Enrollment Period. If you have received Social Security disability benefits or Railroad Retirement Board benefits for at least 24 months, you are eligible to enroll for Medicare regardless of your age. 

People with End-Stage Renal Disease or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis are eligible to sign up for Medicare Part B at any time. As for enrollment, some people are automatically enrolled for Part B, while others will need to sign up through the Social Security Administration. People who are turning 65 and already receive retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration or the Railroad Retirement Board will be automatically enrolled for Medicare Part B. 

Also, individuals under 65 who already receive disability benefits from Social Security or RRB for at least 24 months will be automatically enrolled for Part B. You can apply for Part B during the Initial Enrollment Period, the General Enrollment Period, or during the Special Enrollment Period.


There is an annual out-of-pocket deductible for Medicare Part B, which must be met before the medical services will be covered. This deductible is $240 in 2024, an increase of $14 from the annual deductible in 2023.

Since 2007, a beneficiary’s Part B monthly premium is based on his or her income. These income-related monthly adjustment amounts affect roughly 7 percent of people with Medicare Part B. The base level of Medicare Part B premium in 2024 is $174.70, for individuals making less than $103,000 or married filing jointly couples making less than $206,000. These numbers are all based on your modified adjusted gross income, with a two-year look-back provision. The levels tier up from the base amount. 

Apart from the deductible and premium, there are coinsurance and copayments you may need to pay for Medicare Part B.

If you need more information about Part B or Medicare plans in Nebraska, reach out to us today at 800-560-9373.