Have you read or been told that you could receive as much as $2000 back in your Social Security account? If you’ve received a letter about this at this point, you could very well be in an election period with your insurance company. An election period is a time in which the insurance company allows you to change your plan, re-enroll into the same company, or disenroll from the insurance company and either 1) go back to original Medicare or 2) enroll in a new Medicare Advantage plan with another insurance company.
You’ve gotten a letter marketing a $2000 refund in your Social Security and want to know how to take advantage of it. To be sure, this is not a scam. It is possible. But you have to remember that there’s a difference between what’s possible and what actually happens. These two things (possibility and reality) aren’t always synonymous.
So, what’s the real truth about Part B Premium Reduction? Why does this involve Part B and not other parts of your insurance? And how do you get this refund back in your SSA account?
I’ll cover all these in our post. Keep reading.
why does the ssa refund only involve Part b?
There are four parts to your insurance that most people have: Parts A, B, C, and D. There are some plans that only offer Parts A and B, or Parts that offer Parts A, B, and C but no Part D. Some insurance plans do not offer Part D, which leaves many members with the necessity of purchasing a standalone Part D insurance plan. “D” is for “Drugs,” so Part D pertains to medications such as tablets, liquids, injections, and even certain vaccines. There are some vaccines that are covered under Part B, which means that they are free. The current range of COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved by the FDA under emergency authorization (and those that will be given full authorization both now and in the future) are free of charge. There are others, but these are the ones currently trending due to the pandemic.
Part B pertains to home infusion, DME, outpatient care, certain doctor’s services such as running medical tests, home health, and so on. So Part B is certainly important to a member’s overall care and health. Part C is medical, which covers outpatient procedures as well as inpatient hospital care. Part C is what allows you to have a surgical procedure, such as cataract removal, for example, should you need it, or have a stent if you need a cardiologist to perform the procedure. Truth be told, you need Parts A, B, C, and D, all working together, to have the best healthcare you can have at any time. To lose any part of your medical insurance is detrimental.
When it comes to the SSA refund of $2000 in your account (keep in mind that you may be able to get this back, though most members receive slightly less), it only involves Part B because the refund is aptly called “Part B Premium Reduction.” Since Part B runs most Medicare members at around $170 a month, and there are insurance premiums to pay in addition to Part B, getting $125 or $150 back in your SSA account every month is a big deal. Insurance premiums are high enough nowadays, and if you can get a discount or refund and save money while not missing out on great healthcare, you’ve achieved a milestone.
how to get the ssa refund (part b premium reduction)
$150 back a month sounds sweet. So, it’s natural that many will want to know, how can they get this back in their SSA account?
Well, the answer is pretty simple: join a plan that offers Part B Premium Reduction as a benefit of the policy. Not all plans offer Part B Premium Reduction. Some plans do not. A husband and wife both had the same plan that involved Part B Premium Reduction. The husband discovered that he had limited transportation rides on his benefit and he wanted more; to get the unlimited trip benefit on his policy, the husband had to change his policy and upgrade to a policy that costs more each month. And yet, there’s not only the financial cost but also the benefit trade-off: for the unlimited transportation benefit, the member had to part ways with his Part B Premium Reduction. What this means is that he will pay more a month for not only the plan but also Part B. He will have to pay the full Part B ($170) plus the insurance premium (for parts A, C, and D as well).
Now this is an example above that the Part B Premium Reduction can bring trade-offs. This may not be the same for everyone. You may decide that the gas money you would have to spend to drive to your doctor’s visits will cost more than Part B ($170) each month — and you may decide that the trade-off is worth it financially. That’s a decision you must come to with the aid of solid information. After all, it’s your finances, and you will have to juggle the financial load each month for your insurance, transportation, and other financial expenses. Only your wallet or pocketbook can make these decisions for you.
If you are interested in the Part B Premium Reduction, my advice for you is to talk with your insurance company about what the Part B Premium Reduction is and how you can take advantage of it. The most likely answer you will receive is that you must enroll in certain plans in order to receive it back. Not all plans offer it, unfortunately. But those plans you must enroll in may come with trade-offs that you may or may not want. For example, you may be a Medicare and Medicaid member that gets perks in your current plan that you may lose if you get Part B Premium Reduction. It may not be worth the cost, but again, that’s a decision you have to make on your own. It’s your financial investment and your financial cost. Only you can make that decision for you.
can i really get $2000 back in social security? the truth about part b premium reduction
Part B Premium Reduction is a good thing to have, but as I said above, you may or may not find it worth the financial cost in other things. But, can you really get $2000 back in Social Security?
Well, it’s theoretically possible. Part B costs $170 a month, so someone who gets their entire Part B insurance coverage for free will have received $170 x 12 = $2040 back in their SSA account over twelve months (a year). And so, you can get $2000 back in your SSA account if you get Part B entirely covered.
The reality, however, is that few, if any, get all of their Part B covered. Most members I’ve talked with receive anywhere from $100 to $160 back in their SSA account each month. And many find themselves, getting no more than $125 a month back in their SSA account. So, the Part B Premium Reduction can save you $1900, for instance, but you will find it next to impossible to actually get the entire $2040 a year back in your Part B.
There’s also another thing that you may not know. Most members call and want to know why the SSA hasn’t deposited their Part B Premium Reduction back in their account right away. If they join the insurance company in January, for example, they call in February anxious about their Part B Premium Reduction, thinking something has gone terribly wrong. It hasn’t; the issue is not that they don’t qualify for the reduction, but rather, that it takes Social Security “several months” to deposit that reduction into their accounts. So, until the SSA deposits the money back into the member’s account, he or she must continue to pay the entire cost of their Part B premium ($170 per month).
So yes, you can get a good amount back in your social security account, but it will take a while before you see that nice refund. So, if you opt for the Part B Premium Reduction, don’t be hasty to think that money is coming right away. It isn’t. And you will foot the entire Part B premium until that refund arrives.
part b premium reduction: the good, bad, and ugly
As I’ve said above, Part B Premium Reduction is no hoax or scam. It is true. And you can get it for yourself if you 1) enroll in a plan that offers it. However, before you enroll, you may want to decide a few things: 1) whether or not you’re willing to wait what could be 6-8 months for it; 2) whether you’re willing to pay a higher price for a better plan; or 3) whether you’re willing to give up another benefit for it.
I’ve spoken of some trade-offs requiring you to lose a greater benefit for something less. And that is true. And in some cases, you could opt for a plan that costs less each month than the premium for your current plan. And yet, you will also find that you’ve lost some important benefits. You may gain a greater plan that ultimately provides for dental implants, for example, but you may see your maximum allowance for glasses and contacts (and fittings for frames and lenses) reduced to half of what you received with your former plan. If you find your glass benefit decreasing from $600 to $300 each year but happen to need transition lenses (and the new plan lacks this benefit), you may want to plan a bit before switching plans.
Received that letter about getting $2000 back in Social Security? It’s a good thing to call the insurance company and speak to an agent about the offer. Additionally, you may want to go to the company’s website and see what the advertising is all about.
Everything in the insurance world is marketed and advertised. And, while there is truth to these things, sometimes the marketing makes it out to be more than what it is. The goal is to get you interested, and there’s no harm in growing interest in a benefit. At the same time, you want to focus less on dollar signs and more on how it will affect you.
Because, believe me, everything in life (and in insurance premiums and healthcare) comes at a cost. The question is not whether it will cost you but rather, are you willing to pay the cost.
Only you can answer that question.