Understanding Medicare: Part B Givebacks
Part B giveback, Part B reduction, Part B rebate, Part B benefit, Part B Part B Part B! You’ve heard it before, but what does it mean? Obviously, Part B is in reference to Medicare Part B, but what are these add-on terms?
What Is a Part B Giveback?
For the benefit of the laypeople stumbling onto this article, Medicare is the United States’ federal health insurance program that provides health insurance coverage for citizens over the age of 65. There are four coverage categories to Medicare: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. The standard, or “original,” version of Medicare coverage that citizens are issued includes only Part A and Part B, which are designated for hospital stays, hospice care, and care given at nursing facilities, as well as doctor’s visits, laboratory work, medical equipment, and ambulance services. Part C isn’t federally allotted, but is instead a convenient private-insurer loophole if clients want to bundle their Medicare coverage, keep track of fewer payments and cards, and potentially enjoy more benefits such as dental, drug, hearing, vision, and gym membership coverage. Part C is equal to Part A and Part B combined (and then some). Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage. And to round out our alphabet, part D is additional prescription drug coverage that a client can purchase separately.
For our purposes, we’ll be focusing specifically on Part B— coverage for doctor’s visits, labs, medical equipment (wheelchairs, orthotics, braces, walkers, etc.), and ambulance rides. Even though the program is government-provided, the extra costs of Part B medical insurance, especially in unusual or extenuating circumstances, can be quite high. In these cases, it can be extremely helpful to receive a Part B giveback.
Basically, a giveback— and all of the aforementioned add-ons— is another way of saying ‘premium reduction.’ Clients who’d like to reduce their Part B monthly premium, or bill, can elect to get a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan that slashes that bill total by over $100 a month. Not all Medicare Advantage plans offer givebacks like these, so it’s important to remain educated on all the benefits that come with signing up for each specific plan.
How Does It Work?
As explained by The Brokerage Resource, there are two main ways that a Part B giveback works to help the client. That help is dependent on whether or not the client is currently on Social Security.
If the client is currently receiving Social Security benefits, the Part B premium is subtracted from the giveback total before any money arrives in their bank account— so, it’s automatically taken out of what the government gives. Another way it could work is that the giveback will add money to the Social Security check the client receives each month. Either way, the result is that they’ll end up with more money in their bank accounts! To illustrate the point, imagine that a client’s monthly Social Security check totals $1400. If that client signs up for a Medicare Advantage plan with a $100 giveback, the total amount on their Social Security check will change to $1500.
If the client is NOT currently receiving Social Security benefits and is paying their Medicare Part B premium directly, then their giveback will be factored into that premium and the total will be recalculated. For instance, if the client’s Part B premium is usually $150 and then they sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan with a $40 Part B giveback, then the bill that they receive from then on will be $110, not $150.
A client is not eligible for additional help with their Part B premium if they are enrolled in a Medicare Savings Plan or if they receive Medicaid benefits.
We hope that this information on Part B givebacks is useful to you.
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Born in and raised in Maryland, educated in Utah, and new to Texas, Cristin is a purveyor of stories from all widths and walks of life. With a bachelor’s degree in filmmaking and a staunch passion for literature, she aspires to give digital spaces a uniquely human touch.