The Medicare Give Back Benefit can be incredibly enticing, because it sounds like free money. So, what’s the catch? Let’s first dive into the details of what the benefit is, then explore its limitations, drawbacks, and popularity.
The Medicare Part B Give Back Benefit is another name for a Part B premium reduction. The premium reduction allows insurance companies to cover part of your Part B premium, thereby reducing how much you pay for Medicare each month.
The Medicare Give Back Benefit isn’t available to every Medicare beneficiary. Let’s take a look at the eligibility requirements.
This simply means that if your premiums are covered by a state or local program, then you won’t qualify for a plan with a Give Back Benefit. For example, if you’re on both Medicare and Medicaid, then you are not eligible.
Premium reductions are only available with Medicare Advantage plans, which cover the same services as Original Medicare (Part A & Part B), and often come with additional benefits, including the Give Back Benefit. This means that Medicare beneficiaries who choose to stay on Original Medicare, do not have access to plans with premium reductions.
Wondering if a Medicare Advantage plan is right for you? One of our Advisors can help you understand the benefits of the different Medicare plans available to you.
Medicare Advantage plan availability varies by ZIP code, and so does access to plans with a Give Back Benefit. A licensed advisor should be able to help you identify the available Medicare plans in your area, including those with premium reductions.
Life’s all about give and take. If you’re eligible and find a Medicare Advantage plan with premium reductions is available to you, consider the benefits and drawbacks before enrolling. Don’t forget to check all of the details of your costs and coverage to learn about what both you and the insurance company will give and take.
When it comes to the monthly cost of Medicare, premiums are top of mind for most. Whether you go to the doctor or not, you have to pay your premiums, which is why a premium reduction can be tempting. Below are questions you should ask to avoid the Give Back Benefit costing you something you can’t afford to lose:
Are your preferred doctors in-network?
Are your prescription drugs covered?
What is the difference in copay amounts?
Are the services you need covered?
What is the annual out of pocket maximum?
By paying attention to all of these details, you’ll find that oftentimes, a singular focus on premiums can cost you more in the long run. Add in the fact that insurance companies can change their premiums and benefits each year, and it generally makes sense to focus as much (if not more) on your coverage and out of pocket costs than the premiums you pay monthly.
Despite limitations and drawbacks present in plans with a give back program, the benefit has risen in popularity in the past few years.
While the Give Back Benefit was first introduced in 2003, Google Trends data shows a significant spike in the number of searches for the Part B Give Back Benefit since 2020. Forbes also reported on increased interest in the benefit back in 2020. While there are a number of potential causes for the benefit's rise in popularity, it's hard to ignore the timing. The benefit reached peak popularity in 2020, the same year that marks the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic resulted in a lot of economic uncertainty, which is often paired with penny pinching.
Time will tell if this benefit will remain popular, but because of concern around inflation, there is no doubt that Americans nationwide will continue to prioritize saving.
There’s a lot of confusion that comes with the Give Back Benefit. Let’s dive into some of the most common questions to clear up how this benefit works.
No, you will not receive a check in the mail. The name “Give Back Benefit” is partially responsible for causing this confusion. The benefit is a reduction rather than a rebate. This means that you won’t receive any money, but will instead pay the government less for your monthly Part B premium.
Only Medicare Advantage plans can offer a premium reduction or Give Back Benefit.
Give Back Benefits vary by plan, but can reduce your premiums by anywhere from $0.10 to the full amount of the standard Part B premium ($170.10 in 2022).
The easiest way to find a plan with a Give Back Benefit is to reach out to a Chapter Advisor, who will compare all plans available to you and help you choose the best one for your needs.
Interested in learning more about your Medicare options? Give us a call any time. Our advice is always free.