If you’re on Medicare, you’re likely hearing about the Medicare Part B Give Back benefit.
This new feature is only offered by a select few Medicare Advantage plans and only in some areas of the country.
If you qualify, this unique benefit can reduce your monthly premiums owed to the government each month.
How Does Part B Premium Reduction Work?
First, you must be eligible for and enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. And you must already be paying the full amount for your Part B premiums. You won’t qualify for the Part B Give Back benefit if you receive government assistance that pays for your Part B premiums.
Next, you select and enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that offers the Part B premium reduction benefit.
It’s important to note that only Medicare Advantage plans offer this premium reduction benefit. And it may not be offered where you live. While there are 48 states offering plans, they won’t be available in every county across the U.S. Some areas have no plans at all.
It should also be noted that Medicare supplements currently do not offer any giveback provisions. This benefit is only available if you enroll in certain Medicare Advantage plans. And, of course, there are only certain windows when you can shop for and enroll in a Part C Medicare Advantage plan.
Which Insurance Companies Offer This Benefit?
As this is a relatively new feature, there are only a few insurance companies offering the Medicare give back benefit. Aetna, Cigna and Humana are three companies leading the way.
We imagine more insurance companies will get approved to offer this popular benefit next year – and in more areas of the country. It’s a great way to help those who want to keep their Medicare costs down.
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How Much Can My Medicare Premiums Decrease?
If you qualify and there are plans available in your area, you will see monthly Part B Giveback amounts range from $0.10 up to the maximum yearly standard premium.
This benefit is designed to work with Social Security. Your premium reduction is reflected in your Social Security check each month. In other words, your check will increase by the amount the giveback benefit decreases your premium.
Typically, plans do not pay you directly. If you defer Social Security, then you would see the credit amount applied to what you owe the government. Your monthly or quarterly premiums owed to government are simply reduced by the amount that applies to your chosen Advantage plan.
The give back benefit does not reduce IRMAA charges, unfortunately. Those with higher incomes can only have their premiums reduced by the same amounts listed above; so $148.50 is the maximum amount available this year.
Are There Any Concerns With The Part B Give Back?
We’ve been helping our clients understand their Medicare choices for over two decades. One plan does not fit all. The mistake consumers sometimes make is enrolling in a plan based on cost only. The benefits and network availability must also be considered.
While it’s tempting to choose a plan with a large giveback benefit, it might be unsuitable if your doctors or hospitals are not in their network. And you should also make certain any Advantage plan covers your most important prescriptions. Especially if you take anything expensive or on a higher Tier.
Also, you want to be sure you’re comfortable with Medicare Advantage plans in general. Some people prefer the flexibility of a Medicare Supplement. And switching back and forth between the two is not guaranteed. There are many variables to consider when choosing a supplemental policy.
Contact Us To Discuss Your Medicare Insurance Options
Hyers and Associates is an independent agency located in Columbus, Ohio. Our knowledgeable and experienced agents service clients across the U.S. If you’re new to Medicare, in an Open Enrollment or Guaranteed Issue window, or just have questions about your options – we can help.
We’ll assist you in comparing Supplements and Advantage plans with or without the Part B Giveback benefit. Contact us today!