Everything you need to know about the Medicare Part B giveback

Everything you need to know about the Medicare Part B giveback
When it comes to choosing a Medicare plan, affordability is a major factor to consider. You want a plan that offers great coverage at a price that works for you. Good news: Many Medicare Advantage plans offer $0 premiums. They may also include a Part B giveback (also known as a Medicare Part B premium reduction) to help you save even more. 

Keep reading to learn more about this giveback.

What is it?

The Medicare Part B giveback was started to help members save on health care costs. It lowers the amount you pay each month for your Medicare Part B premium.

How does it work?

A giveback can cover anywhere from 10 cents up to the full price of your Part B premium. The amount you receive, if any, will depend on your location and plan. The giveback can be applied to your Social Security check or – if you don’t currently receive Social Security benefits – directly to your Part B premium.

For example, say your Social Security check is $1,400 and you qualify for a $25 giveback. Once
the giveback is applied, the amount deducted from your Social Security check for your Part B premium will be $25 lower. This will increase your Social Security check to $1,425. If you’re not collecting Social Security and you pay your Part B premium directly to Medicare, your monthly premium will simply be reduced by $25.

Who’s eligible?

Eligibility depends on where you live, as well as the type of Medicare coverage you have. To qualify for the giveback, you must: 

  • Be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.
  • Pay your own premiums (if a state or local program is covering your premiums, you’re not eligible).
  • Live in a service area of a plan that offers a Part B giveback.

You can check your eligibility by reviewing your plan’s Summary of Benefits or Evidence of Coverage, which will list your giveback amount if you qualify

When will I get it?

If you’re eligible, you don’t have to do anything to activate your giveback; the monthly amount will be applied to your Social Security checks or Medicare Part B premium. However, if you recently switched to a new plan with a giveback, it could take a few months to kick in. When it does, you’ll be reimbursed for each month you weren’t compensated since joining your new plan.

Is it worth a switch?

If your current plan doesn’t include a giveback, you may be considering switching to a
different plan that offers one. But keep in mind that a larger giveback doesn’t necessarily indicate a better plan. First and foremost, you should look for a cost-effective plan that covers:

  • Your medications.
  • Preventive care.
  • In-network doctors, specialists, and pharmacists.
  • Any other benefits, like dental or vision, that are important to you.

 These services can come with high out-of-pockets costs, so a plan that doesn’t cover them won’t be worth it – even if it offers a large giveback. However, if you find a plan that checks all your boxes and includes a giveback, then the extra money each month is an added bonus.

Let Highmark help with finding your Medicare plan

Schedule a personal consultation with a Highmark Medicare advisor or call 866-320-8539 , 7 days a week, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. (ET), (TTY users call 711)

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Highmark Choice Company, Highmark Senior Health Company, and Highmark Senior Solutions Company are Medicare Advantage plans with a Medicare contract. HM Health Insurance Company is a PDP plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Highmark Choice Company, Highmark Senior Health Company, Highmark Senior Solutions Company, and HM Health Insurance Company depends on contract renewal.

Health benefits or health benefit administration may be provided by or through Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Highmark Choice Company, Highmark Senior Health  Company, Highmark Senior Solutions Company, or Highmark Health Insurance Company, all of which are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.  All references to “Highmark” in this document are references to the Highmark company that is providing the member’s health benefits or health benefit administration.