Some Medicare AdvantageThe annual period, from January 1 to March 31, when individuals enrolled in Medicare Advantage can make changes to their coverage. plans offer Medicare give back benefits that help pay part or all of your Medicare Part B monthly premium. In 2022, the Part B premiumA premium is a fee you pay to your insurance company for health plan coverage. This is usually a monthly cost. starts at $170.10 per month.
The Medicare give back benefit is also called the Medicare Part BMedicare Part B is the portion of Medicare that covers your medical expenses. Sometimes called "medical insurance," Part B helps pay for the Medicare-approved services you receive. premium reduction.
You do not need to qualify for a give back benefit. Eligibility is based on whether or not a plan in your area offers this benefit.
Plans with give back benefits may not provide other coverages you need, like prescription drugs, dental, vision or hearing.
They can be hard to miss — all the television ads for Medicare Advantage plans that put a lot of money back into your Social Security check each month. The offer is so big it may seem too good to be true — or you might assume that there are a lot of requirements and you won’t qualify.
The truth? These commercials are offering Medicare Advantage plans that have a Medicare Part B premium reduction, also called the Medicare give back benefit. This reduction can help pay for part, or all, of the Part B premium that’s taken out of your Social Security check each month.
That can add up to big-time, real world savings — but plans with this benefit may not be the right fit for everyone. In this article, we’ll explain how a Medicare give back benefit works and help you decide whether this savings provides the right kind of value for your healthcare.
Find a local Medicare plan that fits your needs
The Medicare give back benefit is just that: a benefit. Simply put, some plans offer to pay for some or all of your Part B premium. Think of the reduction like vision, dental or hearing benefits — Original Medicare does not cover these services, but some Medicare Advantage plans offer them to help attract customers. With the Medicare give back benefit, part or all of your Part B premium cost will stop coming out of your Social Security check each month. As you probably know, that can be a substantial amount; in 2022, the Part B premium starts at $170.10 per month.
But whether or not a plan offers a Medicare give back benefit is just one of several factors you should consider when shopping for Medicare Advantage policies. Like the other benefits, not every Medicare Advantage plan offers a Medicare Part B premium reduction. And the plans that do may not have other benefits you need.
For example, a plan in your area may offer a premium reduction but not prescription drugs, vision, dental or hearing coverage. While you may pay less for Part B, the additional monthly payments for those other coverages can quickly offset your savings — and give you more policies to manage. It’s also important to weigh the costs; a plan without give back benefits that features a lower deductible, out-of-pocket maximum and copayments may end up being less expensive over the course of the year.
To get a give back benefit, Medicare doesn’t require you to meet any additional eligibility standards. The biggest qualifications are being eligible for Medicare Advantage, and finding a plan in your area that offers a give back benefit.
Why does location matter? Unlike Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans use provider networks. These are groups of doctors, hospitals and other providers that have agreed to treat an insurance company’s clients. While you can sometimes see doctors outside of your provider network (at a higher cost), you must sign up for a plan in your area. If there are no plans offering Medicare give back benefits in your area, you’ll need to enroll in another plan.
Are you eligible for cost-saving Medicare subsidies?
To take advantage of the Medicare give back benefit, you need to live in an area where one is offered. Plans with Part B reductions can be sold anywhere in the nation, but they’re not available everywhere. To see where you can get a plan with a Medicare give back benefit, you have a few options, including:
Call your insurance company. They’ll look at options in your area and see if any of their policies feature Part B premium reductions. The only drawback? They probably won’t show you options from their competitors.
Contact an independent, licensed insurance agent. They can give a more well-rounded view of your choices as they often have access to plans from several different carriers and can compare more options in your area. Many, like the agents at GoHealth, are paid by the carriers, which means you typically don’t have to pay for this guidance.
If you’re the dedicated do-it-yourself type, however, there are ways to find plans with the Medicare give back benefit on your own — if you know where to look.
On its website, Medicare allows you to search for plans offering the Medicare give back benefit by zip code. You’ll need to sift through all of the Medicare Advantage plans available in your area and find the ones that offer give back benefits. But remember — this is just one of the benefits you should base your decision on. Before you purchase a Medicare Advantage plan with a give back benefit on your own, ask yourself a few questions:
- Are my doctors covered?
- Do I need prescription drugs, and does this plan offer my medications through Part D coverage?
- How do the out-of-pocket costs like copayments and the deductible compare to other plans in my area?
- Do other plans have more of the benefits I need like dental, vision and hearing, or meal delivery and transportation?
Will a plan with give back benefits fit your needs? To find out, give GoHealth a call. Our licensed insurance agents will guide you through your options and help figure out whether these plans are just right for you.
What extra benefits and savings do you qualify for?
No — you don’t need to meet any income requirements in order to receive a Medicare give back benefit. All you need to do is find a Medicare Advantage plan in your area that offers a give back benefit, also called a Medicare Part B reduction.
This depends on the Medicare Advantage plan you choose, and how much of a give back benefit it offers. Give back benefits can cover up to $170.10 per month in 2022, which is the full Part B monthly premium for most people. However, many plans offer less than the full Part B premium. You may be able to select a plan that offers $50 or $100 back each month. If so, you’ll pay the remaining amount each month out of your Social Security check. For example, if you receive a monthly $100 give back benefit, the $70.10 difference will be deducted from your Social Security check each month.
If you have Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C), you may be able to switch to a new Part C plan that has a lower premium. If you pay a monthly premium for your Medicare Advantage plan, you may be able to switch and save — most Americans have access to plans in their area that feature no-cost premiums.
If income is a concern, you may qualify for dual eligibility in both Medicare and Medicaid. Medicaid is health insurance for Americans with low income. Qualifying for dual eligibility often allows you to enroll in a D-SNP, or Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan. With these plans, your state will often help pay a portion of your Medicare costs. But because Medicaid is partially run by the states, eligibility will depend on where you live.