Question: If I purchase a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan, will it pay my Medicare Part B monthly premium?
Short Answer: Maybe. If you select a MA plan that offers a “Give Back” benefit, the plan can pay some or all of your Part B monthly fee (called a premium).
Detailed Medicare Advantage GiveBack Answer:
You are still obligated to pay for your Medicare Part A and B premium when you select a Medicare Advantage plan. Fortunately for most people who have worked in the United States, there is no cost for Medicare Part A. Medicare Part B, however, typically costs $148.50 per month, although some higher-income individuals may pay more.
There are now a few MA plans that can pay some or all of this Part B cost. They are usually called Part B Give Back or BuyBack plans but we have seen them referred to many names including those listed below:
- Part B GiveBack
- Part B Buy Back
- Part B Buy Down
- Part B Reduction
- Part B Premium Reduction
- Part B Reimbursement (misnomer)
MA plans with GiveBack options are (or can be) offered by top private insurance providers such as Humana, Aetna, and Cigna as well as smaller local Medicare Advantage insurance providers.
How Does Medicare Advantage Give Back Work?
Whatever the name, here is what you need to know. Your insurance provider works directly with social security to lower the amount you are charged for your Medicare Part B premium when you select a MA plan that features a GiveBack option.
Example: If you typically pay $200 a month for your Part B premium and select a MA plan with a $50 GiveBack, then you will only see $150 removed from your Social Security account each month.
Is the Part B Give Back a reimbursement?
No! You will never receive a Part B GiveBack reimbursement check from the carrier. Even if you are not receiving Social Security and you are currently required to pay for Medicare Part B directly, you will not get a reimbursement check. Instead, you will be instructed to send in a smaller amount of your Part B premium each month (Your normal Part B premium- Part B Give Back amount).
How Much is the MA Give Back Each Month?
Currently, the few plans that include this Part B reduction usually offer $50 a month but technically they could pay your entire Part B monthly premium. We are not aware of a plan that offers that…yet. We have also seen lower amounts with MA Buy down plans such as $25 a month.
How Do I Qualify for a Medicare Advantage with a Part B Give Back?
- You must be Medicare eligible. This means you enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B.
- You cannot be currently involved in a Medicaid or other program that already reduces your Part B monthly amount.
Where can I purchase an MA Plan that offers Medicare Part B Giveback?
Contact a licensed Independent Agent who can help you review plans that include this feature. Members of our team at Senior65.com are licensed to help you with this process right over the phone.
Please remember that the Medicare Part B Buy Back feature is only one part of a Medicare Advantage plan. Other key factors that you should be considering are:
- How big is the plan’s doctor network?
- How will the plan cover my drug needs?
- What is the plan’s out-of-pocket maximum?
- What other benefits does the plan offer such as vision or hearing coverage.
We can help you review this to help you understand if a MA plan with a BuyBack option would save you money in the long run over other plans. Give us a call at 800-930-7956.