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Medicare Part B is medical insurance. It helps pay for medically necessary services that are needed to diagnose and treat a medical condition. It also covers preventive services. Medicare Part B covers 80% of covered costs after you meet the deductible, and you would pay the other 20%. Part B also covers most doctor services you receive while in a hospital. Parts A and B are called Original Medicare.
You should sign up when you're first eligible. If you don't, your monthly premium may increase each year. But if you have a group health plan from an employer, you may get a Special Election Period. Then you may not have to pay more when you're ready to enroll.
Yes, you need to pay the Part B premium each month. The amount you pay can change each year depending on your income. Your Part B premium may come out of your Social Security benefits, or you may get a monthly bill.
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Page last updated: February 10, 2015