What is Medicare Part B? | AARP® Medicare Plans from UnitedHealthcare®
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Medicare Part B Coverage

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What is Medicare Part B?

Medicare Part B is medical insurance. It helps pay for doctor visits and medical care you receive as an outpatient.

You are an outpatient when you receive care in a hospital or clinic and are not admitted for an inpatient stay.

Part B also covers most doctor services you receive as a hospital inpatient. Other hospital services are covered under Part A.

What's covered under Medicare Part B?


Doctor's visits (including an annual physical exam) Ambulatory surgery center services
Outpatient medical services Some preventive care    , like flu and pneumonia shots
Clinical laboratory services (blood tests, urinalysis, etc.) X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, EKGs, and some other diagnostic tests
Some diagnostic screenings, like colorectal and prostate cancer screenings and mammograms Durable medical equipment for use at home (oxygen, wheelchairs, walkers, etc.)
Emergency room services Skilled nursing care     and health aid services on a part-time or intermittent basis
Medical health care as an outpatient A few prescription drugs administered by a doctor, like chemotherapy drugs

What's not covered under Medicare Part B?

Medicare Part B does not help with the cost of:

  • Dental, vision or hearing care except in very limited situations.
  • Care received outside the United States except in very limited situations.
  • Custodial care    such as help with eating, bathing or dressing.

What doctors or health professionals can you see?

You can see any qualified provider in the United States who accepts Medicare assignment    and who is accepting new patients. You can receive care in any state or region. Original Medicare Part B offers the same benefits throughout the United States.

What are the coverage limits with Medicare Part B?

Medicare Part B helps pay for any medically necessary care to treat an illness or condition.

Part B also covers some preventive care to help you live a healthier life. There may be limits on coverage for some services.

What is preventive care   ?

Preventive care includes screenings and tests that help find health problems early so they can be treated. Some services, like flu shots and health education, may help prevent health problems.

Medicare Part B covers these preventive services:

  • Alcohol misuse counseling
  • Bone mass measurement (bone density)
  • Breast cancer screening (mammogram)
  • Cardiovascular disease (behavioral therapy)
  • Cardiovascular screening
  • Cervical and vaginal cancer screening
  • Colorectal cancer screening
  • Depression screening
  • Diabetes screening
  • Diabetes self-management training
  • Flu shot
  • Glaucoma test
  • Hepatitis B shot
  • Hepatitis C screening
  • HIV screening
  • Lung cancer screening
  • Medical nutrition therapy services
  • Obesity screening and counseling
  • Pneumococcal shot
  • Prostate cancer screening
  • Sexually transmitted infections screening and counseling
  • Tobacco use cessation counseling
  • “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit
  • Yearly “Wellness” visit

What do you want to do next ?


Or learn about Medicare Part B costs