Healthcare Answers: Medicare Part B

Janiva Toler

Janiva Toler
Executive Director
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 2020.

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, Specific information about Medicare with Christian Science benefits is on our website.

5 Responses to Healthcare Answers: Medicare Part B

  1. Mary Jo Beebe says:

    Hi Janiva,
    A friend just sent me the BA Newsletter. I began reading your information about Medicare. Thanks for this–very helpful!

    On the Medicare site, I found that I need a written election to state that I elect to have non-medical care in a religious non-medical insitution and it must be signed and dated with a notary.
    I’m not sure whether I have to write out all the statements or just copy them from the Medicare site and then sign and date.

    Also, where do I send the document? Do I just need to call someone at Medicare to find out?

    Thanks for this service!
    Mary Jo

    • Janiva says:

      Hi Mary Jo,

      This is a great question. The election form should only be executed at the time you enter the Christian Science nursing facility and elect to use Medicare. The Medicare provider facility in your area (such as The Leaves) will have the most current election form and a notary. This is a frequently asked question so I am so glad you asked it.

      I would be glad to add you to our distribution list for these E-news. They are monthly and always have a Medicare/Insurance Q&A of interest to Christian Scientists.


  2. Robiny Rhea says:

    Thank you for your notes. I would like to offer that Medicare Part B is not always required to purchase a Medicare Supplement (MediGap) policy. I am in the insurance business and have been selling Medicare Supplement policies to Christian Scientists throughout the United States. Mutual of Omaha is one of the only insurance companies that does NOT require a client to also have Part B to purchase a Medicare Supplement policy. Thought I would chime in with that information.

    • Janiva says:

      Dear Robiny,

      Thanks so much for your comments. I have only run across one Medigap policy in 23 years that did not require Part B so it’s great to have the information about Mutual of Omaha. Would it be possible to have a copy of the policy? I would like to learn more.

      Thanks again.

  3. Diane K. Bradbury says:


    Thank you, could you recommend a company for Medicare coverage that allows care at the BA? I turned 65 last April, so am behind in applying for Medicare, but I have CSPN coverage as an employee at TMC.



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