Updated: Nov 11, 2021
I get several calls a week with questions about getting money back from Medicare that clients saw or heard on TV or Radio commercials.
Yes! There is a Medicare Savings Program (MSP) where the State in which you live may cover the Part B premium (currently $148.50 for most beneficiaries). Contrary to what some people have been told; qualification has almost nothing to do with your Zip Code. This program is only a viable option for Medicare Beneficiaries with lower income and resources. For 2021, the income limits for most States* are $1,456 for a single/$1,960 for a married couple. There are other qualifications, but in addition to Resources* ($7,860 for a single/$11,800 for a married couple), these are the two most important indicators of whether you might qualify for the MSP. If your income and/or resources are above these amounts you will not qualify for the MSP.
So why do these companies spend all these marketing dollars talking about getting money back – it’s simple; to sell insurance products. Some insurance carriers offer a benefit in their plan called a Medicare Part B Give-Back which will pay all or a part of a beneficiaries Part B premium if you enroll in their specific insurance plan. This is often not clearly explained by the insurance representative that you speak or meet with. They hype the discount; not the fact that you will need to change your current insurance plan; and in many cases, change the doctors & specialist that are critical to your care. Please understand that this is in no way a knock on the insurance carriers that offer these
Give-Back plans; it is more about some of the insurance marketing organizations that mislead millions of consumers daily to think they qualify when they know that most consumers do not.
So again; DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE! If you know your income and/or resources are above the limits referenced above; do not contact these companies. Odds are you will be shuttled into another insurance plan where you will be locked-in for the entire year (in many cases).
Check out these sources to find creditable information about the MSP: your local Health and Human Services office or Yourtexasbenefits.com (if in Texas).
Give us a call! We are happy to be a resource to consumers who want to become more educated about their insurance decisions, so that they avoid these common mistakes.
*Slightly higher Income and Resource limits allowed for Alaska and Hawaii residents