Medicare Part B – Medical Insurance
Part B (medical insurance) helps pay for doctor's office visits and services, lab tests, and most outpatient care. Most people pay a monthly premium for Part B.
Part B enrollment:
- You can enroll in Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period. This is a seven-month period — the three months before your birthday month, your birthday month, and the three months after your birthday month.
- If you decline Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period and enroll during the General Enrollment Period, you may pay a penalty. The monthly premium for Part B goes up 10% for each 12-month period that you could have had Medicare coverage but didn’t sign up for it. The penalty increases as Medicare premiums increase.
- If you decline Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period because of coverage due to active employment for a company with 20 or more employees, you should enroll during your Special Enrollment Period.
Be sure to enroll in Part B if you:
- Are retired
- Are not working
- Have COBRA or retiree health coverage
- Have a group health plan that pays second after Medicare pays
If your work status changes, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. Ask how your change in work status may affect your Medicare coverage. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.