Although many Medicare beneficiaries receive premium-free Part A coverage, they must always pay a monthly premium for Part B coverage. The standard Part B premium in 2022 is $170.10. This amount can really start to add up for those on a fixed income, like Social Security retirement benefits. The Medicare Part B Give Back benefit can help cover some of this cost, and it sometimes even covers your entire Part B premium. So, what exactly is the Give Back benefit, and how does it work? Keep reading as we give you all the details about this plan, including what it is, how it works, and how you can sign up.
What Is The Medicare Part B Give Back Benefit?
The Give Back benefit is a benefit offered by some Medicare Advantage plan carriers that can help you reduce your Medicare Part B premium. You should know, however, that the Give Back benefit is not an official Medicare program. This benefit is provided as part of some Medicare Part C plans as a way to encourage participation in a specific plan. You might also hear the Give Back plan called the Part B premium reduction. Here is how it works.
When you sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan that includes the Medicare Give Back benefit, the Advantage plan carrier will pay for a portion of your Part B premium. In some cases, they might even pay for your entire monthly premium. However, you will not receive a rebate check each month from your insurance company. You will see a reduction in the amount of your premium by the give back amount. For instance, if you pay the standard premium amount of $170.10 each month and your give back amount is $70, then you would only pay $100.10 each month. Most people have their Medicare premium automatically withdrawn from their Social Security check. In that case, you would see a deduction of $100.10 per month instead of the full $170.10.
Since the Give Back program is not an official Medicare program administered by the Federal government, you should be aware of a couple of drawbacks. Remember that the private insurance companies who administer these plans get to set many of their own rules. Although they must provide at least the minimal level of coverage provided by Original Medicare, they can set their own rules when it comes to premiums, copays, coinsurance amounts, deductibles, and additional benefits. Participation in the Give Back program might mean that you give up other benefits like dental or vision coverage. It could also mean that you have a higher deductible or higher copays. Make sure that you read all the details of the plan before enrolling in coverage so that you can ensure it is a good fit for your needs. Even though the Give Back benefit might save you money on your premium, it could end up costing you even more in the long run.
Who Is Eligible For The Medicare Part B Give Back Benefit?
It is pretty easy to qualify for the Medicare Give Back benefit as the eligibility criteria are straightforward. First, you must be enrolled in Original Medicare. You need to have both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B coverage. Next, you must pay your own monthly Part B premium. If you receive financial assistance through Medicaid services or some other program that pays your Part B premium, then you cannot qualify for the Give Back benefit. Some state and local programs exist that help pay Part B premiums for participants, but these programs will disqualify you from the Give Back program.
Finally, you should live in a service area that is eligible for the Give Back program. Since this program is administered by the private insurance carriers who manage Medicare Advantage plans, it is only available in certain areas. There are currently 48 states in America that have access to a Give Back benefit, so you can likely find one in your area. The easiest way to determine that is by checking your ZIP code and searching for available Medicare Advantage plans in your area.
Applying For A Medicare Part B Give Back Benefit
So, what is the enrollment process for the Give Back benefit? Many people are looking to save as much money as possible when it comes to their health care costs, so they want to know how to get signed up for this program. The process is quite simple, so here is how to do it. First, you need to find a Medicare Advantage plan in your area that offers this benefit. You can use the Medicare plan finder tool at Medicare.gov to help you with this process. You can also speak with a licensed insurance agent in your local area who can help you find the best Medicare Advantage plans in your area to fit your needs.
Once you find an available plan that provides the Medicare coverage you need, you should check the plan details to determine what the plan offers when it comes to the Give Back benefit. You should be able to find this information in the plan details. Take a look at the Evidence of Coverage section or the Summary of Benefits. Search for the “Premiums” section and look for a “Part B Premium Reduction” line item. This will give you more information on the premium buy-down as it will tell you how much of your Part B premium the plan will pay.
Remember that the Give Back benefit is only available through Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Supplement Plans, or Medigap plans, do not provide this benefit. You may choose to enroll separately in Medicare Supplement Insurance, but you will not receive a Give Back benefit from those plans. Those plans can help you pay for out-of-pocket costs that are not covered by Medicare. For instance, you typically are responsible for paying 20% of the Medicare-approved cost of doctor services. A Medigap plan can help cover those costs, but it will not help with the payment of your Part B premium.
The Bottom Line
Since most people on Medicare are receiving Social Security benefits, finding a way to reduce the cost of your health insurance is always a plus. The Medicare Give Back program can do just that by paying for a portion or even all of your Medicare Part B premium. Remember that this is not an official Medicare program as it is administered by Medicare Advantage Plan carriers. Many of these health plans provide benefits that result in a lower Part B premium. Remember that Advantage plans include both Part A and Part B coverage as well as Part D prescription drug plans in most cases. You should always look at the overall cost of the plan because those plans with the Give Back benefit might have higher copays or deductibles that could lead to a higher overall out-of-pocket cost. The Give Back benefit is available in 48 states today, so make sure to check for plans in your local area if you decide to get signed up.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you qualify for $144 back from Medicare?
In 2022, you can qualify for up to $170.10 through the Give Back program. However, this money does not come directly from Medicare. Medicare can be complicated, and some people might think they need a Medicare For Dummies book to figure it all out. Here is what you should know about the Give Back program. The Give Back program is managed and administered by private insurance carriers who provide Medicare Advantage plans. To qualify, you must be enrolled in Part A and Part B Medicare. You also need to pay your own Part B premiums. If you receive financial assistance through Medicaid or another program, then you cannot also qualify for the Give Back benefit. You then need to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that offers a Give Back benefit. Instead of receiving reimbursement from the plan, you will simply pay a lower Part B premium each month. If your Advantage plan offers a full give back amount, then you would not need to pay a Part B premium at all. This can help put more money in your pocket each month, although the health plan might have higher copays or deductibles than other options.
What is the deadline for Medicare give back benefit?
There is no deadline to qualify for the give back benefit. You must already be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, and you must pay your own monthly Part B premium. You then simply need to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that offers this benefit. Remember that a Medicare Advantage plan combines Part A, Part B, and prescription drug coverage into a single plan. Some of these plans provide additional benefits like vision and dental coverage. Plus, many of them offer the Medicare Give Back benefit, which helps cover some or all of your monthly Part B premium. Generally, you must enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during specific enrollment periods. If you miss your initial enrollment period, then you can enroll during the open enrollment period from January 1 through March 31 each year.