Medicare Part B (Outpatient Insurance)

Medicare Part B is outpatient/physician insurance. Part B is voluntary, has a monthly premium, and is designed to cover doctor's services, outpatient care, and some other services not covered by Part A. The Part B monthly premium is either deducted from monthly Social Security or billed quarterly if not yet drawing on Social Security. Eligible individuals should be automatically enrolled in Part B when they elect Medicare, unless they choose to defer because they continue to work or have other coverage. If an individual does not enroll during that period he/she may pay a penalty when he/she does enroll.

A deductible and coinsurance apply when using Part B, and is limited to Medicare allowable charges.

Examples of Services Not Covered:

  • Routine vision, alternative health care, routine hearing screening exams, routine chiropractic care, prescription drugs, first three pints of blood
  • Chiropractic services (except to correct a subluxation using manipulation of the spine)
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Custodial care
  • Dental care (in most cases) and dentures
  • Eye care (routine exam), eye refractions, and most eyeglasses
  • Routine foot care (with a few exceptions)
  • Health care while travelling outside the U.S., except in limited cases
  • Hearing aids and exams for the purpose of fitting a hearing aid
  • Hearing tests that haven't been ordered by a doctor
  • Long-term care
  • Orthopedic shoes (with few exceptions)
  • Prescription drugs (most outpatient drugs aren't covered)
  • Syringes or insulin, unless the insulin is used with an insulin pump

NEXT: Medicare Part C
PREVIOUS: Medicare Part A

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If you have questions about Part B,
CALL the U.S. Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213
or visit ssa.gov


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We offer both Medicare Advantage HMO plans and Medicare Advantage PPO plans in different areas of Washington state.
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