How to Save Money With the Medicare Give Back Program
If you’re on the lookout for ways to save money on your monthly Medicare costs while not sacrificing coverage, you’re in good company. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reports that in October 2021, there were just under 64 million people enrolled in Medicare.
If you’re one of the millions of these beneficiaries in the United States, you might be thinking about next year’s Part B monthly premium costs. Will they cost you more, or will they go down in 2023? So far, the final verdict hasn’t been announced, and even though many are saying that the Medicare Part B premium may cost less per month this coming year, it can still take a big bite out of your monthly budget.
Here’s a look at the Medicare Giveback program and how it might help you balance your monthly budget.
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What is the Medicare Giveback Benefit?
The Medicare Giveback program or benefit is also known as Medicare Part B Premium Reduction. But no matter what it’s called, it’s only available through some Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans in the United States.
If you enroll in a Part C plan that offers the Medicare Giveback benefit, your plan provider pays a portion (sometimes up to 100 percent) of your Medicare Part B monthly premium.
Remember, even if you have health care coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan, you are still responsible for paying the monthly premium for Original Medicare Part B (outpatient medical insurance), in addition to your Part C monthly premium, if your plan has one. While all Part C plans have their own premium charges, as of January 1, 2022, the standard Medicare Part B premium is $170.10.
Availability for enrollment in the Medicare Giveback program depends on the region (zip code) where you live and the insurance company offering the Part C plan. Not all insurance companies, nor all regions of the country offer this program, but for those that do, the object of the program is the same: To help beneficiaries save money on their monthly health care insurance costs.
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Who Qualifies for Medicare Advantage Premium Reduction?
As mentioned above, the Medicare Part B premium reduction benefit is only available through a participating Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan. This means that to get the benefit you must be living in a service area of a Part C plan that participates in the program.
If you aren’t already enrolled in a Part C plan, you can do so during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period or as a new Medicare beneficiary. But to be eligible for Part C coverage, you must first be enrolled or eligible for enrollment in Original Medicare Parts A and B. You must also be actively paying your own Medicare Part B monthly premium.
You aren’t eligible for the Medicare Advantage Giveback benefit if you get assistance paying your Part B premium from Medicaid or another government program.
TIP: Discover 7 reasons to switch your Medicare Advantage plan.
Pros and Cons of the Giveback Benefit
The Medicare Advantage Giveback program can be quite helpful, with some plans covering the entire monthly premium. However, the typical Part B reduction ranges from $25 to $75 per month.
Before enrolling in a plan that participates in the Giveback program, make sure you are fully aware of the amount of the reduction and what benefits you’ll get. You shouldn’t enroll in a Part C plan just for this program. Use an online Medicare plan finder to compare all available plans in your area, and make sure you enroll in one that gives you the health care coverage you need, or you might end up spending more per month.
Many Medicare Advantage plans change their monthly premiums for the upcoming new year. Keep this in mind, and check with your plan in October to see what changes to expect on January 1st. If your provider decides to end the Giveback benefit, you’ll have time during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period (October 15th to December 7th) to find other Part C plans that offer premium reduction benefits.
TIP: Learn if your Medicare premiums are going up in 2023.
How Do You Get Medicare Give Back?
Depending on your Medicare Advantage provider, you may receive your premium reduction in one of two ways.
- If your Medicare Part B premium is automatically withdrawn from your monthly Social Security payment, the Part B premium reduction will be credited to your Social Security check or direct deposit every month.
- If you don’t cover your Part B monthly premium with Social Security, your Medicare Part B monthly premium will be reduced directly by Medicare and you’ll pay that reduced amount (or nothing if you get a 100 percent reduction).
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What Zip Codes Include Premium Reduction?
Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans all differ according to the zip code where they’re available. They are offered by private insurance companies, and these companies set the service areas for the plans that they offer.
Insurance providers determine the insurance needs of the community through the information available to them from different sources. This way they can offer insurance plans that are the most beneficial to the people living in each service area of the country.
When it comes to the Medicare Giveback program, where you live will determine whether there’s a plan available for you to enroll in. If there aren’t plans available within your zip code, you won’t be able to receive this benefit.
How to Find Medicare Advantage Giveback Plans
To avoid possible Medicare scams and misleading information, it’s best to use a tool that can help you compare, review, and choose plans.
A Medicare plan finder is easy to use and gives you detailed information about available plans according to your zip code.
TIP: The Part B Giveback is just one of the many great Medicare Advantage plan benefits you can look for when using the “View all plans” option in our Medicare plan finder tool.
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