The U.S. Government’s Medicare Part B is a program used mostly in the treatment and prevention of illness.
In the African American community, Medicare Part B can be used to reduce the incidence of ill health in a population (morbidity). This is especially important since Black Americans have a high incident of diseases that can be managed in a team effort between the patient, doctor and other healthcare professionals.
Heart Disease, Diabetes, Stroke and Kidney Disease patients will benefit from services provided by this program. The great part of Medicare Part B is that it covers many preventative services at low or no cost. Flu shots are considered a preventive service, for example. The cost will always be an issue when the median (half above and half below) household income of Black American households is $34,560 in 2013. The government provides extra help to reduce the out of pocket expense.
What does Medicare Part B Cover?
Part B covers 2 types of services
- Medically necessary services: Services or supplies that are needed to diagnose or treat your medical condition and that meet accepted standards of medical practice.
- Preventive services: Health care to prevent illness (like the flu) or detect it at an early stage, when treatment is most likely to work best.
You pay nothing for most preventive services if you get the services from a health care provider who accepts an assignment. Part B covers things like:
- Clinical research
- Ambulance services
- Durable medical equipment (DME)
- Mental health
- Getting a second opinion before surgery
- Limited outpatient prescription drugs
2 ways to find out if Medicare covers what you need
- Talk to your doctor or other health care provider about why you need certain services or supplies, and ask if Medicare will cover them. If you require something that’s usually covered, and your provider thinks that Medicare won’t cover it in your situation, you’ll have to read and sign a notice saying that you may have to pay for the item, service, or supply.
- Find out if Medicare covers your item, service, or supply.
Medicare coverage is based on 3 main factors
- Federal and state laws.
- National coverage decisions made by Medicare about whether something is covered.
- Local coverage decisions made by companies in each state that process claims for Medicare. These companies decide whether something is medically necessary and should be included in their area.
Tell me your experiences with Medicare Part B in the comment section, on Facebook or Twitter.
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