Answers Your Questions on Healthcare
Question: Does a Christian Scientist need Part B?
Answer: It is helpful to understand the difference between Medicare Part A and Part B. These definitions are from Medicare & You 2017.
“Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps cover your inpatient care in hospitals,” and “Inpatient care in a Religious Nonmedical Health Care Institution” (RNHCI). RNHCI is the term used to identify Christian Science nursing facilities such as Chestnut Hill Benevolent Association.
“Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) helps cover medically-necessary services like doctors’ services and outpatient care.” Medicare Part B does not directly cover any of the services at a RNHCI such as the BA. So, it is easy to understand that “Why would a Christian Scientist enroll in Part B?” is a frequently asked question.
In speaking with Christian Scientists over the last twenty years, we have found the following to be the most common reasons for enrolling in Part B:
- Part B is required for Medigap Insurance (a type of private health insurance that was covered in a previous blog).
- If a Christian Scientist went to the hospital for an x-ray following a fall or to have a bone set by a surgeon, Medicare Part B would help cover those services.
- Christian Scientists may have family members who request they have Part B to give the family members peace of mind.
Another frequent question is “Can I enroll in Part B at a later time?” Yes, you can enroll later. But depending on how much later, and the circumstances delaying enrollment, there may be a penalty.
One of the best sources for general information about Medicare is the website, www.medicare.gov. Specific information about Medicare with Christian Science benefits is on our website.