Medicare Part B offers outpatient coverage for services such as immunizations, preventive care, ambulance rides, and durable medical equipment. It’s also instrumental in helping you get other types of Medicare coverage. But you cannot join this at just any time. When you can join Part B depends on the time of year and your personal circumstances.
Why Join Part B?
Once you’ve met your deductible ($233 in 2022), Medicare Part B reduces your coinsurance costs by 80%. It covers a wide variety of treatments, but it does not cover dental, vision, or hearing services.
However, joining Part B can be a gateway into expanding coverage beyond Original Medicare’s limits. Medicare Part B is a requirement for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement Plans.
With Medicare Advantage, you can get all of Original Medicare’s coverage, plus coverage for dental, vision, and hearing. Some plans even offer free gym memberships. Your Part B plan makes this coverage possible.
Medicare Supplement Plans take care of what is left of your out-of-pocket costs. You have six months to join after enrolling in Part B. You can still technically join after this period has passed, but there is a strong likelihood that you will not be able to acquire a Medicare Supplement policy at any point in the future.
It should be noted that you cannot have Medicare Advantage and a Medicare Supplement Plan at the same time.
When Can I Enroll?
You can join Medicare Part B during these times:
- Initial Enrollment Period – three months before you turn 65 to three months after you turn 65
- General Enrollment Period – January 1 to March 31
If you forgo joining Medicare because you have health insurance through an employer, you can join during a Special Enrollment Period after you lose that coverage. You have eight months to join Part B at this time without incurring a late enrollment penalty.
However, if you receive Social Security, Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), or disability benefits, your enrollment will be automatic. If you receive Social Security or RRB benefits, you will be enrolled within a few months before your 65th birthday. If you receive disability benefits, you will automatically get Part B after getting those benefits for 24 months.
Learn More About How You Can Enroll In Part B Today
At Medicare Sharks, we will walk you through the Medicare enrollment process. Call us today at 561-225-3022. You may also call us at 561-225-3633.