How to Make Medicare Part B Fees

1.

Gather together your Medicare Summary Notices or Explanation of Benefits and research where most of your money is going to. Part B charges the following fees: a monthly premium, an annual deductible and a coinsurance for services. Knowing which part of it you are having trouble paying for is important when you are selecting the best way to get help paying for the fees.

2.

Calculate your monthly income and your total assets. There may be state- and federal-sponsored programs that will pay for some, if not all, of your Part B fees. These programs determine eligibility based on your income and sometimes your assets.

3.

Call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program. These programs are staffed with trained volunteers who have the most up-to-date information about programs you may be eligible for. You will want to specifically ask about these two things: Medicare Savings Programs (these may help pay all Part B fees if you qualify) and Medigaps (this is supplemental insurance that you may purchase that will cover only some of the fees, but may be cost effective, depending on your health care needs). Knowing which fees you were having trouble paying for is important during this step because not all Medigaps cover the same fees. Having that information handy can help you narrow down your options quicker and will prevent you from spending money on benefits you don't need.

4.

Call your local Medicaid agency. Many Medicare recipients qualify for Medicaid. You are allowed to have both, and they are designed to work together. Medicaid works as a wrap-around to Medicare, meaning it pays for the costs that you would otherwise pay out of pocket, such as your Part B fees.

5.

Apply for any programs you are eligible for. Your SHIP should be able to help you with this process, but if not, contact the programs directly. For Medicare Savings Programs and Medicaid, the Medicaid agency is required to provide you with assistance if you need it. You can find more information about Medigaps on Medicare.gov or by calling a Medigap plan directly.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you are just above the income eligibility level, apply anyway. You may have income deductions that can help you qualify.
  • The elderly and disabled are especially at-risk populations that need health care. In the United States, Medicare is available to those who have fulfilled certain work requirements, and Medicare recipients can receive outpatient care through the Part B benefit. However, the Part B benefit has many fees and costs associated with it that can add up quickly. Getting help with these costs can be as simple as making a phone call.