What Are Medicare Part B Give Back Plans?

In this article...
  • Read about Medicare Advantage Part B Give Back plans and their benefits. Find out if these flexible plans could save you money on the health services you need.

Medicare Part B Give Back plans are special Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans that return some or all Part B premiums to beneficiaries. 

These plans are sometimes called Medicare Buy Back plans or Medicare premium reduction plans. Securing one of these Medicare Advantage plans is a great way to put more money in your pocket each month.

How Do Medicare Part B Give Back Plans Work?

Medicare Part B Give Back plans are health plans offered by private insurance companies rather than Medicare. 

Like other Medicare Advantage plans, beneficiaries enjoy Original Medicare Part A and Part B coverage benefits and usually some extra perks.

These bundled plans provide comprehensive coverage that reduces out-of-pocket costs for hospital treatments, doctor’s visits and other outpatient healthcare services. Additional benefits such as prescription drug coverage are also typical features. 

The Give Back initiative is another one of the supplemental benefits that set these plans apart. The insurance company pays for all or part of the Part B premiums on their members’ behalf, representing a considerable saving each month.

How Do You Get Medicare Money Back?

You don’t get Medicare money back in the traditional sense with a Medicare Part B Give Back plan. 

The carrier doesn’t send direct payments to beneficiaries. Instead, you pay less for your premium. The way this works depends on the way you make your Medicare payments. To illustrate: 

  • Premiums deducted from Social Security checks: You’ll notice the rebate added to your monthly Social Security check. The Social Security Administration usually takes between 1 to 3 months to process your paperwork and apply your refund.
  • Alternative payment method: If you use a different payment method, such as direct debit, you only need to pay your part of the Medicare Part B premium if the plan doesn’t cover it entirely.

How Do You Know How Much You’ll Get Back?

Insurance providers detail how much they give you in their summary of benefits or evidence of coverage. 

In the Part B premium buy-down section, you’ll see the percentage of the premium that the insurance carrier pays. It may state 100% or a lesser amount. 

The most you’ll get back is the full standard Part B premium amount of $170.10 in 2022. If you’re unclear on the offer, contact your insurance agent or the carrier’s customer care line via the number listed on the back of your card with any questions.

How Common Are Medicare Part B Give Back Plans?

Medicare Part B Give Back plans are becoming more common as time goes on. In 2022, these plans are available in 48 states. Many major insurance carriers offer this benefit to make their plans more appealing. 

Check the Medicare Plan Finder to learn whether insurance carriers offer Medicare Part B Give Back plans in your area. Check the details page for each listed plan to see whether it provides the Part B premium reduction.

Are Medicare Part B Give Back Plans Cheaper Than Other Medicare Plans?

Since providers waive all or part of the Part B premium, they may be cheaper than other Medicare Advantage plans. 

However, compared to Original Medicare combined with a Medigap Medicare Supplement plan, you may find that Medicare Part B Give Back plans have higher cost-sharing. Co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles for doctor’s visits and health services, particularly out-of-network, may cost you more than Part B premiums with Original Medicare plus a Medicare Supplement plan. 

Consider also that High Deductible plans, with lower premiums than standard Medicare Advantage plans, may be more affordable than Medicare Part B Give Back plans for people who rarely make claims. 

Research all your options to determine whether a Medicare Part B Give Back plan will be more affordable for you in the long run than another Medicare plan.

What Are the Qualifications for Medicare Give Back Benefits?

Medicare Give Back plans aren’t open to everyone, so make sure you meet the criteria before applying. 

You must be:

  • Enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B
  • Responsible for paying your own Part B premium, meaning you don’t receive Medicaid or other forms of assistance for paying Part B premiums
  • Living in a service area for a plan offering give back benefits

Should You Consider a Medicare Give Back Plan?

Medicare Part B Give Back plans offer immediate plan benefits, but they could be more expensive than some other Medicare plan options in the long run. Furthermore, these plans aren’t available in every zip code or with all insurance providers. 

You should do your research to see whether a Medicare Part B Give Back plan and the benefits it offers are the best option for you. While they are not an option for everyone, you may find that a Medicare Part B Give Back plan helps you access the health services you need for less.

About the Author

Zia Sherrell is a digital health journalist with over a decade of healthcare experience, a bachelor’s degree in science from the University of Leeds and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Manchester. Her work has appeared in Netdoctor, Medical News Today, Healthline, Business Insider, Cosmopolitan, Yahoo, Harper's Bazaar, Men's Health and more.

When she’s not typing madly, Zia enjoys traveling and chasing after her dogs.

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