The standard premium for Part B in 2021 is $148.50. There are 3 ways to pay less:
- Qualify for Medicaid and the state will pay all or some of your premium
- Get a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan that includes a rebate
- Cancel your Part B enrollment.
If you want to try to get your state to pay your Part B premium, you will have to be approved for medicaid. This is a state benefit that is usually for the low-income, but not always. Some states accept anyone over 65. Some states will never pay the Part B premium. It's worth exploring if are living check-to-check. If order to apply, search your state's websites. In a later post, I will detail some of the general differences between Medicare and medicaid.
If you need to keep major medical insurance and Medicare is your best option, then there *might* be a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan in your area that offers a Part B "premium reduction" or "rebate." Most of the premium reduction or rebates are $15-$40. The plan may or may not include prescription drug coverage. If you have VA benefits, look for MA-only plans. Most areas have them, but not all. You can continue to get your prescriptions thru the VA pharmacies and still get the Part B reduction from the MA plan. Most of the MA-only plans have a Part B premium reduction or rebate upwards to $40. These plans are marketed towards Veterans and have names like Patriot or Honor. The reduction will usually come thru your monthly Social Security check.
For those who need creditable prescription drug coverage, there are MA (MAPD) plans with prescription coverage that offer a monthly rebate or Part B reduction. They will be based on where you live so not everyone, who see this, will be able to enroll in one.
Yes. Unfortunately, Medicare plans are designed for local markets and plans change if you move counties/major cities. These are called service areas. Sometimes nearby service areas have such similar plans no one know the difference.
There is a link below that will take you to Medicare.gov where you can search for local plans without logging in.
From there, you will be asked other questions and eventually get a list of potential plans. There is no easy way to filter for plans that pay towards the Part B premium, but most of them are high deductible plans. Also, the MAPD plans tend to send a "rebate check," and the $148.50 (or more) will still get deducted from your Social Security check.
You will be redirected.
Select Medicare Advantage Plan.
Enter your zip code.
Select "Plan Details" box for potential plan.
For for "Overview."
Look to see Row 5 "Part B premium reduction" Yes or No
Now you will have to search elsewhere or call the carrier for the exact amount.
The last option to save on the Part B premium is to cancel Part B. I only recommend this if you or your spouse currently have coverage thru a group employer plan.
This has been a longer post. Future posts will unwrap some of the generalities like some differences between Medicare and medicaid, or even - What's an Advantage Plan? Thanks for reading this far and please comment or subscribe.