Medicare prides itself on being one of the best, affordable health care options for seniors. What’s even better is that depending on the type of Medicare plan you choose, there’s a way you may be able to save even more. What we’re referencing is the Medicare Part B Premium Giveback, and it’s making certain Medicare Advantage plans are even more affordable for enrollees. Ready to find out how you can get this giveback?
Much of our research for this article was done with the help of our sister site, the Agent Survival Guide. Where Medicareful Living focuses on helping seniors live happier, healthier lives, the Agent Survival Guide teaches insurance agents how to best help their clients. If you’re curious about the insurance agent industry or becoming an agent, we highly suggest checking out the ASG blog!
What is the Medicare Part B Premium Giveback?
As we mentioned, the Medicare Part B Premium Giveback is a program in place to help you receive some money back on your Part B premium. The program is for Medicare Part C plans, also called Medicare Advantage plans, which are offered by private insurance companies but still approved and regulated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). All plans have a Medicare Part B premium since they offer Original Medicare coverage, though many plans have additional coverage on top of that. In 2021, the standard monthly Part B premium cost is $148.50. Most people have this premium taken directly out of their Social Security check each month.
The carrier that offers the Medicare Advantage plan has notified CMS and the SSA that they’ll be covering all or a portion of the Part B premium.
So, why does a Part C plan have a Part B Premium Giveback? The insurance company that offers the Medicare Advantage plan, called a carrier in insurance terminology, has notified CMS and the Social Security Administration (SSA) that they’ll be covering all or a portion of the Part B premium. It’s utilized as a way to increase the affordability of plans, making them even more enticing to potential beneficiaries.
Who is Eligible for the Medicare Part B Premium Giveback?
It’s worth noting that not everyone is eligible for a Part C plan that offers a Part B Premium Giveback. In fact, there are two factors that may not allow you to find one of these plans. The first of these deals with how you currently pay for your Medicare Part B premium. In order to qualify for a plan with a Part B Premium Giveback, you need to pay for your Part B premium on your own. This means that if you receive assistance from Medicaid or programs like Medicare Savings Plans you’re not eligible for the giveback benefit. The upside to this news is that you’re not eligible for it because you’re already receiving help, so you may not need it.
Not every plan offers a Part B Premium Giveback, and not every area has plans that offer the giveback either.
The other factor of eligibility has to do with location. Not every plan offers a Part B Premium Giveback, and not every area has plans that offer the giveback either. This is dependent on zip code and the array of plans offered. Currently, most zip codes have at least one plan with a Part B Premium Giveback, but if you’re in a location that doesn’t, you won’t be able to enroll in that type of plan that offers it. That said, it’s rare that there isn’t one in your area, so as long as you’re enrolled in Medicare and pay for your own Part B premium, there’s a good chance you can find a plan featuring the giveback.
How Do I Receive the Part B Premium Giveback?
If you have a plan with a Part B Premium Giveback, you’ll receive it in your monthly Social Security check. Let’s say your monthly Social Security benefit is $1,543 (roughly the expected average for 2021) and your giveback is $80. Once the giveback kicks in, your check would begin to be $1,623, since that $80 would be added in. It can take a few months for the benefit to kick in once you’ve enrolled in a plan with the giveback, but this will be credited to you. If it takes two months for the benefit to begin, you’ll receive two months of giveback on your first Social Security check with the benefit. The same is also true if you leave the plan, where the credit may rollover for a month or two. If this is the case, you’ll have the over-the-top payment taken out of your check.
Like anything that has to do with Medicare Advantage, how much you receive as part of the giveback is specific to the plan you’re enrolled in.
But how much will this giveback be? Like anything that has to do with Medicare Advantage, how much you receive as part of the giveback is specific to the plan you’re enrolled in. In some cases, the giveback may be as low as $10, while in others it may be the entire premium. Generally, it falls somewhere between $20 and $100. You will occasionally see above $100. It’s rarer that a giveback benefit be under $20 (though still possible).
How Can You Find a Plan with a Giveback?
You can identify a Part C plan that has a Part B Premium Giveback by looking deeper into the plan. For example, on Medicareful’s Plan Finder, if you look under Premiums in Plan Details, a plan with a giveback will have a “Part B premium reduction” listing and an amount. This tells you the plan includes a Part B Premium Giveback and how much you’ll receive from it each month.
● ● ●
So, not only can some Medicare Advantage plans help you afford your health care, they can also reduce the monthly premium that covers the care, too. This makes the Medicare Part B Premium Giveback yet another way that Medicare can help make your health care available and affordable!