Does Medicare owe me a refund?

Stumped asked...

Joseph L. Matthews wrote that I could return to traditional medicare, Parts A and B with 30 days notice to current manages care plan. He indicated that I would have to pay $96.40 for part B. My wife and I have been paying the $96.40 for over two years to the government while using a managed care plan. It seems to me that we're entitled to a refund of premiums since traditional medicare hasn't been in effect for over two years.

Please explain if this is proper and if not what is the justification for the government to have us continue paying a premium for something that has never been used.

Thank you.

Expert Answer

The government does not owe you a refund for the Medicare Part B premiums you paid while you and your wife were enrolled in a Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage managed care plan. That's because everyone who's enrolled in a Medicare Part C managed care plan must at the same time be enrolled in and pay the monthly premium for Medicare Part B. Medicare uses your Part B premium money to pay your Part C Medicare Advantage plan, which enables the Part C plan to provide you with broader coverage than Medicare Part B does while charging you only a small, or no, additional premium. So, although you did not directly use Medicare Part B during that time, your Medicare Part B premiums were being used to support the Part C coverage you had.