Explanation of Benefits which are part of Medicare Plan B including newly added preventative services.
Medicare Plan B, or the medical insurance portion of traditional Medicare, functions just like employer sponsored health care. There is a monthly premium of $99.90, an annual deductible of $155 which must be met before benefits kick in, and an 80-20 coinsurance afterwards. Medicare Part B services include the following: Emergency care including ambulance services, inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment, durable medical equipment such hospital beds, suction pumps, walkers, wheelchairs, crutches, nebulizers. Also, included are clinical research or medical exams, limited prescription drugs for specific conditions such as infused drugs via a nebulizer, antigens, or for specialized treatment of kidney failure, hemophilia, osteoporosis, and regular visits and check-ups with a medical practitioner.
As part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), starting in 2011, Medicare Plan B began to cover preventative services. Previously, these benefits were accessible to Medicare beneficiaries subject to the annual deductible and coinsurance. However, with the ACA, a wide range of benefits are offered to Medicare recipients to promote improved health and long-term savings under first dollar coverage meaning that the patient will receive the services for free. Some of the types of free services now offered are as follows:
Screenings for depression, diabetes, HIV, obesity, tobacco use cessation, mammograms, pap test and pelvis exams, cardiovascular disease, etc. If properly taken advantage of, these preventative services will promote early detection of some of the most debilitating diseases for seniors. This benefits their quality of life and reduces medical expenses for both seniors and the Federal & State governments.
It should be noted that these improvements to Medicare plan B must also be added to Medicare Advantage by law. So those who opt for Medicare Advantage will also benefit from preventative services.