Medicare beneficiaries know that Medicare is a great way to save money on healthcare costs. But, did you know Medicare also saves beneficiaries money when it comes to social security benefits? It’s true!
In this article, we will discuss how Medicare beneficiaries can get $148.50 back in their social security checks every month!
Understanding Your Medicare Part B Premium
You may recall that Medicare Part B is considered your “medical insurance.” It pays for things like outpatient care, doctor’s visits, preventative services, vaccines, ambulance services, etc.
The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B is $148.50 as of 2021. If you are collecting social security and enrolled in Medicare Part B, this premium is deducted directly from your social security check.
You may be paying even more if you are considered a “high-income earner.”
An Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) may be levied if your modified adjusted gross income is above a certain limit. Medicare takes the modified adjusted gross income mentioned on your IRS tax return from two years ago to determine if you are a “high-income earner.”
If you fall in the IRMAA category, you will pay the standard premium of $148.50 plus an added sum based on your income.
Medicare.gov has a table that will allow you to see if you fall into the high-income categories.
There are a few ways that you can appeal your rate increase, but if these don’t apply to you, you may still be eligible to get your premium reduced.
How to Get Your Money Back: The Part B Premium Reduction Plan
The Part B Premiums Reduction Plan (also called a “buy-down” or “give-back” plan) is a feature unique to Medicare Advantage plans only. NO other plans allow for this benefit, including Medicare supplement (Medigap) plans.
However, not every Medicare Advantage plan offers this benefit and it is not offered in all areas of the United States.
How the Part B Premium Reduction Plan Works
The Part B Premium Reduction Plan is exactly what it sounds like. You join a Part C Medicare Advantage plan that has it as part of the policy, and the insurer either pays part or whole of the premium for your outpatient (Part B) care.
When looking at Medicare Advantage plans, you’ll see this benefit discussed in the “evidence of coverage” section. Here, you’ll notice how much of a reduction the plan provides – either a partial or full reduction of your Part B premium.
The Reduction Process
Individuals who enroll in a give-back plan do not get issued checks for the premium. The reduction will be taken from the individual’s monthly social security benefit amount prior to it being transferred to a bank account.
States and Carriers Offering the Part B Premium Reduction Plan
So far, 48 states offer Part C plans that include the Part B Premium Reduction Plan. Aetna, Cigna, and Humana are some of the larger companies that currently offer this benefit. However, as mentioned earlier, they do not offer those types of plans in all areas of the country.
How to Obtain a Part B Premium Reduction Plan
To enroll in any Medicare Advantage plan, you must already be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B (also called Original Medicare). In order to qualify for the premium reduction, you may not also be accepting other forms of government assistance for your Part B premium – like Medicaid.