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 easyMedicare, 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.
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Last Updated: November 1, 2022 MULTIPLAN_ETQEZMwebsite_0722_M