Glossary Term

Part B

Medicare Part B is one of four categories of Medicare benefits. Part B benefits pertain to medical services provided within the diagnosis and treatment of sickness or in preventive care. Examples of Part B medical care include outpatient doctor visits, laboratory tests, and durable medical equipment (DME). Preventive care examples include flu shots and vaccines and medical tests to detect diseases (such as mammograms and screenings for prostate cancer and colorectal cancer). Part B is differentiated from Medicare hospital insurance (Part A) and Medicare prescription drug insurance (Part D). 

Most Medicare beneficiaries pay a monthly premium for their Part B benefits. In 2024, the Part B premium amount is $174.70. The annual deductible for Part B care is $240, though this does not apply to preventive care services. The Medicare beneficiary typically pays 20 percent of the cost of a service covered by Medicare Part B. Unlike Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part B has no annual limit on out-of-pocket costs for covered care. Medicare Supplement plans can assist with medical expenses not paid for by Medicare Parts A and B. 

Medicare Part B is funded by the Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund. This fund is managed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and receives sources that include premiums paid for Medicare Part B and Part D.

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