As a veteran, you probably have health coverage through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. How important is it to consider adding Medicare coverage to your VA health benefits? At easyMed Insurance Services, we are here to help you determine your best options for coverage and care.
Why Original Medicare is a Good Idea for Veterans
You’re not required to enroll in Original Medicare (Parts A and B) when you’re first eligible. Eligibility for Medicare typically begins at age 65, but you may be eligible before you turn 65 if you have a disability, end-stage renal disease (ESRD), or ALS/ Lou Gehrig’s Disease. However, you can have Medicare coverage as well as VA coverage at the same time, and there are several reasons why you may want to consider other Medicare plan options in addition to your VA coverage. Learn more about Tricare and ChampVA coverage.
Original Medicare and Veterans
Because Medicare allows veterans to be enrolled in both VA benefits and Medicare coverage, you gain a whole network of covered healthcare providers beyond what the VA offers. You may also be able to get appointments faster or get a second opinion more easily.
Medicare Advantage and Veterans
Beyond Original Medicare (Parts A and B), you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. These are plans offered by private insurance companies that bundle Parts A and B, and typically offer additional benefits like vision, dental, hearing, fitness, wellness and prescription drug coverage. Some of these plans have premiums that begin at $0, so you may be able to get extra benefits at no additional cost while keeping your VA coverage. You will still have to pay your Part B premiums.
Prescription Drugs for Veterans with Medicare
In addition to having more options when choosing a healthcare provider, enrolling in a Medicare plan can give you more flexibility when it comes to prescriptions and may help to cut down on healthcare costs. With a Medicare Prescription Drug plan (Part D) or a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage (MAPD), you can get prescriptions from non-VA doctors and pharmacies. You may also be able to reduce your costs with the Medicare Extra Help program.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, military retirees do still have to pay Medicare premiums. Medicare Part A is typically premium-free, while Part B has a premium. You may be eligible for assistance with Part B premiums if you have limited income or assistance through a state program.
Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)
Medicare Annual Enrollment Period runs each year from October 15 to December 7. What is the Annual Enrollment Period vs. Open Enrollment Period?
Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)
Your Initial Enrollment Period generally surrounds your 65th birthday but may occur if you otherwise become eligible for Medicare for the first time.
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e-TeleQuote Insurance Inc. (“e-TeleQuote”), an affiliate of Primerica, Inc., does business as easyMed Insurance Services in all states other than New Mexico. e-TeleQuote is a duly licensed insurance agency appointed by Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO and PFFS plans and stand-alone prescription drug plans and insurance companies holding Medicare contracts approved by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). e-TeleQuote is not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or the Federal Medicare Program. Enrollment in any plan for coverage is subject to insurance company approval. Enrollment in the plan depends on the plan’s contract renewal with Medicare. By using e-TeleQuote’s easyMedicare website, you understand and agree that in New Mexico, we operate as e-TeleQuote Insurance, Inc. (Your IP address and/or location coordinates may be gathered to verify your location.) Sales agents may be compensated based on your enrollment in a health plan. Medicare Supplement plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or the Federal Medicare program. e-TeleQuote complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion. easyMedicare.com is a non-government site, powered by e-TeleQuote Insurance, Inc. e-TeleQuote provides a secure way to purchase Medicare insurance from the comfort of your home or workplace. We do not offer every plan available in your area. Currently we represent 5 organizations which offer 3,291 products in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-Medicare (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048) 24 hours day/7 days a week, or your local State Health Insurance Program (SHIP), to get information on all of your options. Not all plans offer all of these benefits. Benefits may vary by carrier and location. Limitations and exclusions may apply. To send a complaint to Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1- 877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week). If your complaint involves a broker or agent, be sure to include the name of the person when filing your grievance.