Should I Sign up for Medicare Part B?

Part B of Medicare covers most of the costs associated with doctor's bills, outpatient care and durable medical equipment. Part B Medicare is structured to work in conjunction with Part A. However, because Part B includes a monthly premium a Medicare recipient may decide not to sign up for Part B.

Common Reasons for Not Signing Up for Part B.

Part B is an excellent choice for people that do not have medical insurance through other sources. However, for people who have insurance through work or the employment of a spouse, Part B may not be necessary. If the coverage substantially overlaps with your employer's insurance and you are in good health there may be no need to sign up for Part B.

Part B premiums are expensive and constantly rising. Some seniors view the payment of Part B premiums as a violation of their civil rights. People who can afford to take care of themselves out-of-pocket will often opt out of Medicare Part B. People with excellent retirement benefits may also view Part B as redundant, expensive and unnecessary. Some people do not believe in medical treatment for moral or religious reasons and they will also choose to opt out of Part B.

Advantages to Signing Up for Medicare Part B

Part B works very well with Part A and if you are over 65, most medical providers and doctors will assume that you have Part A and Part B and provide care according to that assumption. Medical treatment can be very expensive without Part B. In addition, most medical insurance plans and programs will assume that you will have Part B once you turn 65. Make sure to check with your plan administrator before opting out of Part B. Don't automatically assume that your coverage will remain the same after turning 65.

Auntie Lou says, "Who made turning 65 a license to segregate and discriminate?"

Medicare Part B is deducted from your Social Security check so technically it won't cost you anything. In addition, the sooner you sign up the more likely you are to receive lower premiums and better coverage for the rest of your life. Medicare and Social Security are both under funded and the cuts in the future will hit newer enrollees the hardest. In addition, there is currently a 10% yearly penalty for opting out of Part B without a "good reason." Delaying enrollment will cost you substantially more in the future if you ever need to rely on Medicare coverage.