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What is Medicare Part B? Skip to content

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En español | Medicare Part B covers doctors’ services, including those provided in the hospital. It also covers outpatient care and preventive care, including tests, screenings, laboratory work and outpatient care in the hospital. Some medical equipment and supplies, such as wheelchairs and oxygen are also covered.  

To qualify for Part B benefits, you need to be:

  • a United States citizen who is age 65 or older; or 
  • a permanent legal resident (green card holder) who is 65 or older and who has lived in the United States for at least five years; or
  • a green card holder age 65 or older who has been married for at least one year to a U.S. citizen or green card holder — provided that your spouse is at least 62 and is fully insured (that is, has earned 40 work credits through paying Medicare payroll taxes at work); or
  • entitled to Medicare under age 65 on the basis of receiving Social Security disability benefits. 

To receive Part B benefits ...

You must pay the required monthly premiums — either the standard premium that is set each year by law, or more if your income is over a certain level. However, if your income is low you can apply to your state for assistance under a Medicare Savings Program; if you qualify, the state pays your Part B premiums. 

For information on Medicare premiums for higher-income beneficiaries, go to

For information on Medicare Savings Programs and how to apply, go to

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