Medicare Part B Givebacks Are Real (But Look Like A Scam)
The notorious Joe Namath ads have spread the word that some Medicare Advantage plans do have a Part B Giveback option. While people thought that it was too good to be true, it’s real. It’s legal. And it is likely that you have some plans for 2022 that will help you reduce the cost of your Medicare Part B.
Medicare Part B costs $148.50 for the average American in 2021. Imagine having a $0 monthly cost insurance plan that also gives you back $100 or more each month. While it sounds like a scam, it’s been around for over a decade and is completely legitimate.
Think of it this way: the Medicare Advantage companies get X money from the government each month. They can spend it on extra benefits (like dental, vision and hearing) or give some of it back to you to spend on your other health care needs (Part B Giveback). If you don’t need a gym membership or dental, take the money. But don’t assume that a Giveback plan is a better option. What’s better for you depends on many things: health, budget and location are determining factors!
To be eligible for a Part B Giveback, you must live in a county where a plan is offered. Plans are not widely available (even if the TV ads make it seem like they are).
The Part B giveback money is credited monthly into your Social Security account, a check is not sent to you. If you don’t participate in Social Security yet, you are not eligible. Nor are you eligible if you are on any form of government assistance that is already paying for your Part B premium.
It may take a few months for you to start receiving the Part B give back money — so don’t despair if you don’t get it right away. Many people sound the alarm and complain when they don’t see the money in their account in January, but it can take up to 4 months. It takes Social Security time catch up on the masses of people who enroll each Fall. Your account will eventually be credited with a lump sum.
This delay will go both ways. When you leave the insurance plan or the plan no longer offers a Part B Giveback in the future, Social Security delays will again upend your account. It will take 2–4 months for the payments to stop. Prepare for Social Security to come back for those over payments in a lump sum. Medicare Advantage plans are only guaranteed one year at a time. It’s likely the Part B giveback amount will change next year, so store this tip away to prevent you from shock in the future.