Most Medicare beneficiaries qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A, based on their or their partner`s work history. But Medicare Part B has a monthly premium, which in 2023 is around $164.90 per month for most beneficiaries. In the last years, Medicare Part B Giveback has quickly become the most popular benefit in Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans.
If you decide to enroll in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan, you will pay the premium for Part B and the premium for the Part C plan. Most Medicare Advantage plans have $0 premiums, which means their beneficiaries just pay the Part B premium. But since 2003, some of those plans started to include Medicare Part B premium reduction (Giveback) in themselves. Called by several names, Giveback is simply a reduction in Medicare Part B premium offered by some Medicare Part C plans. The amount covered can range from 10 cents to the full Part B premium cost. Important mention, not all plans will have this feature, although more companies have considered offering givebacks at some level.
How does it work?
If you are paying the Part B premium, and the selected Plan C allows a giveback, you are eligible to receive the giveback. Eligibility for the plan is still contingent upon living in the plan’s area and having Medicare Parts A & B. For those who do not pay Medicare Part B premium, the giveback portion of a plan does not apply since they have no premium to be repaid. Givebacks only work through Social Security, so if you are paying Medicare Part B premium and join a plan that has givebacks the amount you receive back will be seen only in your Social Security check or deposit. No cash exchanges hands between you and the insurance carrier. This entire arrangement is done through Social Security.
For example, if your Part B costs $164.90 per month and your Giveback credit is $70.00 per month, then you would see an increase of $70 in your monthly check. Your Part B payment out of your pocket would drop to $94.90 instead of $164.90.
Be aware that the Medicare Part B Giveback is only available with Medicare Advantage (Part C) Plans. The Medicare Advantage plan that offers a reduction may or may not have prescription drugs (Part D). There is no Medicare Part B premium reduction given through a Medicare Supplement plan!
Each private insurance company offering Medicare Advantage plans can alter the fees associated with their plans once a year. This means that your plan could offer a reduction in your Part B costs one year, and then change it the next. These changes can only take place once a year, on January 1. Be sure to review any alterations to your plan after this date.
To enroll in a plan that offers Medicare Part B Giveback you must meet the plan’s eligibility requirements; live in the service area and have Medicare Parts A and B.
How do I receive the Medicare Giveback Benefit?
You will not receive checks directly from your Medicare Part C plan carrier. You can get your reduction in 2 ways; first, if you pay your Part B premium through Social Security, the Part B Giveback will be credited monthly to your Social Security check; and second, if you don’t pay your Part B premium through Social Security, you will pay a reduced monthly amount directly to Medicare. There is no cash exchange between beneficiaries and insurance providers!