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As a Medicare-eligible Veteran, you have options when it comes to healthcare. We know this transition to Medicare can be confusing, so Senior65.com has listed a few points that all vets should know when they become Medicare eligible.  To confirm your options call the VA directly 1-877-222-VETS (8387). 

VA Benefits and Medicare

It is important to note that Veteran’s Affair (VA) plans and Medicare do not supplement each other. In other words: VA plans only cover care at VA facilities, and Medicare only covers care at Medicare assigned facilities. These plans do not overlap.

Should You Enroll in Medicare Part A If You Have VA Benefits?

Yes. It is strongly recommended that all veteran seniors enroll in Medicare Part A (Hospital Coverage) and usually there is no additional cost. This will allow you receive hospital coverage should you go to a non-VA facility.  According to the VA’s website “[We] encourages you to keep your private [Medicare] health insurance.”

Should You Get Medicare Part B If You Have VA Benefits?

Yes, It is strongly recommended that all veteran seniors enroll in Medicare Part B (Medical Coverage). There is usually a monthly fee for Part B but it is worth it. If your VA Benefits are dropped at some point OR, and this is important, if your local VA facility does not cover all health services, you could pay 100% out of pocket for a serious illness. The VA highly recommends that you enroll in Part B as well.  Don’t miss this deadline or you will have to pay a penalty.  Check out our Medicare Deadline Calculator to see when you should sign up.

Please contact Veterans Affairs directly (1-877-222-VETS (8387)) with questions about specific care at your local facility.

Should You Get Medigap If You Have VA Benefits?

Perhaps. A Medicare Supplement Plan (AKA Medigap) will fill in the gaps such as deductibles, copays, and coinsurance, as well as other benefits when seeking care outside of the VA, or outside of the U.S. and its territories.  Medigap is a great way to protect your wealth but it is not free! Make sure to speak with your VA, Tricare or CHAMPVA representative before enrolling in any supplemental plan to ensure that it is actually beneficial for you. Here are two reasons why you may want to enroll in a Medigap plan:

1) You do not live near a VA facility

2) You are enrolled in one of the VA lower priority groups, and could potentially lose your benefits

“There is no guarantee that in subsequent years Congress will appropriate sufficient funds for VA to provide care for all enrollment Priority Groups. This could happen if you are enrolled in one of the lower Priority Groups. This would leave you with no health care coverage.” Source: VA.gov website.

Enrolling when first eligible for Medigap is important. If you apply outside of your Medigap initial enrollment period you will be asked medical questions, and can be denied coverage or charged more.

Learn More about Medigap Get a Medigap Quote

Should You Get a Medicare Advantage Plan if you Have VA Benefits?

Probably.  Medicare Advantage (MA) plans can help reduce your out-of-pocket risk should you go to a non-VA facility and, in many cases, they do not cost extra!  Yes, many MA plans are free.  If you go down this path look for a “zero premium policy” and one that doesn’t include prescription drugs (since you most likely get those through the VA…see below).  We can help enroll in a no cost Medicare Advantage plan at 800-930-7956.

Should you enroll in a Medicare Part D Plan if you Have VA Benefits?

Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs at the pharmacy and they cost on average around a month.  Most Vets do not select a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan as they have RX coverage from the VA.  Good news: if you choose not to enroll in Part D when you are first eligible you can still enroll in Part D without paying a penalty. VA drug coverage is considered creditable coverage.

For further questions about Medigap, Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D, please call the number above or contact Senior65.

Please note: We are only able to give general information about Medicare related issues. If you have questions about your VA coverage, please contact Veterans Affairs directly.

Reader Comments and Questions

("Click Here" to leave a comment)

John
Usually switching to C or B will not save you enough money to be worth it. We would recommend looking a G, N or High F if you cannot afford F. Sometimes quotes for High F are not available online. Feel free to call our office.
Eric at https://www.senior65.com


Wayne,
Thank you for your question! You will want to reach out to Social Security and the VA to find out how to be reimbursed. Best of luck!
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Jamie,
It's not too late! However, he most likely will have to wait until the General Election Period (Jan 1 -March 31) to apply for a July 1, 2018 start date. You will want to contact Medicare directly to see if he has a Special Enrollment Period.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Mandy,
Thank you for your question. It sounds like he might also have Medicaid, which means, yes, he would have to choose. You'll want to contact CMS to find out what type of coverage he has.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Bruce,
While you can have an MAPD along with VA benefits (without conflict), you don't need the drug benefit, and it may serve you better to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan without drug coverage (depending on what type of coverage is offered to you). You can use either one as you like. Only thing is: all drugs prescribed by a non-VA doctor, require a VA doctor to approve in order to be covered by the VA. Remember to confirm all coverage with the VA. For help enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


Al,
There are two things you may qualify for: 1) VA drug coverage 2) Medicare Extra Help. For the former, you will want to contact the VA directly, and for the latter, you will contact Medicare directly.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


Leah,
VA and Medicare usually do not work together; and, therefore, your VA benefits should not cover your Medicare out of pocket costs. You will want to contact the VA and Medicare to coordinate benefits.
-Michelle from https://www.senior65.com/


Maureen,
Thank you for your question. He can join a Medigap plan to cover his Medicare copays, coinsurance, and deductibles, but if he can't afford that, he can join a Medicare Advantage plan that will lower his out of pocket max, but still pays copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. With that said, he may want to see if qualifies for the Spend Down and Extra Help programs -these may help him with his financial needs.
-Michelle from https://www.senior65.com/


Susan,
The VA, Medicare, and Senior65 highly recommend that he enrolls in Medicare. He will want to do this quick because Part B General Election Period Runs from Jan 1-March 31, after this he will not be able to enroll until next Jan. If he does enroll and is looking for a Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan, have him call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Floyd,
Thank you for your question! Most likely you don't need the 3rd insurance, but you will want to contact the VA and retiree plan to confirm this.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


DSJS,
You father can sign up for Part A and B during the Medicare General Election Period and his effective date will be July 1, but he may owe penalties if he didn't have creditable coverage. If he needs helps enrolling in drug plan or Medicare Health plan, have him call one of our Senior65 licensed insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


Jim,
You won't get a refund for not utilizing your Medicare. You can talk to Medicare about delaying your Part B, although we do NOT suggest doing so. You will want to weigh all of your options with the VA and Medicare directly.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Robin,
While you may use Medicare to get a second opinion, it does not mean that VA will consider that doctor's opinion for surgery or other procedures. The reason they do not have coordinated coverage.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Elizabeth,
Yes, he can see both. The reason is the VA and Medicare do not work together -so there's no crossover. If he's interested in lowering his out of pocket costs for Medicare (Medicare Advantage or Medigap) have him give one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents a call at 800-930-7956.
-Michelle from https://www.senior65.com/


Jim,
All VA questions should be addressed directly with the VA office. If you need help finding a Medicare health plan (Medigap, Medicare Advantage, or Part D) contact one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Michelle from https://www.senior65.com/


Timothy,
The good news is that is a BIG what if. As of right now, Medicare is still covered and approved by Congress, and we cannot make any speculations about the future of Medicare or the effects on veterans. Wish we could help more.
-Eric from https://www.senior65.com/


Alan,
Creditable coverage for Part A and B requires that you are able to use the same network of doctors and hospitals as Medicare (i.e. job-based, retiree insurance). Since the VA coverage network is comprised solely of VA/VA friendly facilities, it is not considered creditable coverage. However, VA drug coverage is considered creditable coverage. Hope this better explains it.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Ignacio,
Happy to hear that you are pleased with VA health care. Unfortunately, we are not VA experts, so, you will want to contact the VA to find out what you need to do to keep the coverage.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


Judy,
We are health insurance agents that can enroll you in a Medicare Health plan, we are not VA experts. Your husband will want to call the VA directly to find out. If he needs help enrolling in a Medigap, Medicare Advantage, or Part D plan, have him call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


Agent,
We know how confusing this can all be. So to clarify, as stated in the above article, VA benefits are considered creditable coverage for Part D, "However, under Medicare Part B, VA health care is NOT creditable coverage Creditable coverage under Medicare Part B can only be provided through an employer" -VA.gov. Hope this clears it up!
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Carol,
Thank you for your question. While Medicare Advantage "replaces" Original Medicare, you are still enrolled in Medicare; therefore, you still pay for the premium(s). We are not VA experts, and would not be able explain the coverage your husband is offered. With that said, we do suggest, if you can afford it, to look into Medigap -as you have a lot more flexibility in network, and a Plan like Medigap F will cover your copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. For help finding a Medigap plan in your area call 800-930-7956.
-Michelle from https://www.senior65.com/


Ernest,
Unfortunately, none of this is our area of expertise. To clarify your situation, you will want to contact CMS. Sorry we cannot help you anymore on this.
-Michelle from https://www.senior65.com/


Lawrence,
The VA and Medicare do not work together; therefore, if you stayed at a VA hospital, your VA coverage would cover it, not Medicare. If you're interested in a Medigap or Medicare Advantage to lower your out of pocket costs when you're admitted to a non-VA hospital, call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


Paul,
You absolutely can opt, but it is not recommended. The VA and Medicare both recommend keeping your Medicare insurance. The reason is, some treatments are not covered at your VA facility, as well as, your coverage can change in years to come. If you were to enroll in Part B later on, you would only be able to enroll between Jan and March for a July 1 start date, and would owe a penalty. Hope this helps!
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


Terry,
If you are seeking care outside of VA facilities, we suggest getting a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan. The reason is, Medigap plans can cover your copays, coinsurance, deductibles, and adds an additional 365 days of hospitalization. For help finding a Medigap plan call one of our licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Maureen,
Most people do not need ChampVA and a separate supplement policy. You will want to contact ChampVA directly to see if there are any gaps in your coverage that your other supplement policy would cover. Hope this helps!
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Richard,
If you qualify, you can get your prescriptions through the VA. Just remember, all prescriptions ordered by a non-VA doctor, need to be approved by a VA doctor. If you're not used to going to the VA, you may want to enroll in a Part D plan. However, you'll need to wait to enroll until Medicare's Open Enrollment period. If you need help finding a Part D prescription drug plan, call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Michelle from https://www.senior65.com/


Bonnie,
Usually, health care in a rehabilitation center is only covered if there is some type of improvement. However, you may be able to get Home Health Services for your husband -which are usually at no cost through Medicare, not sure what the costs are through the VA, or if the VA covers it. You will want to contact the VA directly to find out what options he has. Best of luck!
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


Bill,
There are some risks involved with dropping Medicare. The main one is, we've had a few clients who have a rare disease or a type of cancer that their VA facility cannot treat. If this was your case, and you were to have dropped Medicare Part B (as most people keep Part A, since it is usually premium-free), you would have to pay 100% of your out of pocket costs for any care by a doctor in and out of a hospital setting, as well as, any out-patient treatments (lab work, MRIs, chemo, etc.). You would not be able to reapply for Part B until the general election period (from Jan 1 to March 31), your Part B coverage would begin on July 1st, and you would owe a Part B penalty for late enrollment. The VA and Senior65 highly recommend that you maintain your Medicare coverage.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


John,
You will want to contact the VA to see if you can get covered now, and how they cover hearing aids. If you are able to enroll in VA benefits, you will still be able to keep Original Medicare and your Medigap plan, and see any doctor that accepts Medicare assignment.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Marilee,
You will not be penalized for not enrolling in Medigap when first eligible. However, you will need answer to medical questions, and could be denied or charged more if you have preexisting conditions. For help switching your Medigap plan, call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Michelle from https://www.senior65.com/


Ron,
Not exactly. If you decide to enroll in Part B later on, you will owe a penalty -because VA coverage is not considered creditable coverage for Medicare. We, and the VA, highly recommend that you enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. The only reason to delay Part B is if you have work based insurance or other creditable coverage. Let us know if you need help finding a Medicare Health plan in your area by calling one of our licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


Ron,
We understand the transition to Medicare can be confusing! Let us help explain it better. To enroll in a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan, you need to be enrolled in both Original Medicare Part A and B. In other words, if you want to be enrolled in Plan G, you would not be able to drop Part B. If you need help finding a Medigap plan in your area call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


James,
We totally understand that navigating both can be difficult. Since Medicare Advantage and VA benefits do not work together, you would need a separate PCP. Since they are separate, no, you do not need to drop your VA PCP. As always, before you make any changes please contact the VA.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


Joe,
This confuses me, too! ChampVA should work as a supplement to Medicare. I'm wondering if your hospital's billing department doesn't realize that ChampVA is different from traditional VA coverage. My suggestion is, you'll want to contact the VA directly to confirm, and your ChampVA provider. If you decide you'd prefer to enroll in a Medigap plan, please call one of our licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Eric from https://www.senior65.com/


Duke,
Your Medicare Advantage plan does not supplement Medicare, but rather replaces it. You will still be responsible for copays, coinsurance, and possibly a deductible(s). You will want to check with the company you are enrolled in to see how they cover your surgery.

If you would like to switch to a Medigap policy to supplement your Medicare (can cover copays, coinsurance, and deductibles) or switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan, please call one of our licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Robin,
Most likely they are asking that question for their records. It could also be because you have ChampVA, which is only available to veterans. Most likely you will have to answer yes, because of ChampVA.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Terry,
The VA highly suggests that you enroll in both Medicare Part A and B. With that, you may want to, since money is an issue, consider a Medicare Advantage plan to limit your out of pocket expenses. As always, we suggest that you contact the VA to confirm. Please call us at 800-930-7956 if you need to find a Medicare Advantage plan in your area.
-Eric from https://www.senior65.com/


Pat,
Medicare hospital stays are covered a little different than you describe, for example you have two deductibles your father must meet before you start paying toward coinsurance (% you pay) and copays (set amount such as per office visit). Check out Medicare costs at a glance, to see how your father's hospital stay would be covered. Remember that Part A covers for hospitalization, while Part B will cover the doctors and surgeons costs, and you owe a combination of these costs when you're in the hospital.

As for not sending your medical bills to a collection agency, that would be based on the hospital's and individual doctor's billing practices, and not a set rule.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Anonymous,
Thank you for your comment. To clarify, Medigap does offer additional benefits that Medicare does not cover: It covers all or part of your first three pints of blood, adds an additional 365 days of hospitalization, and certain plans offer coverage for foreign emergency travel care within the first 60 days of your trip. If you want evacuation or non-health travel coverage, we always suggest you buy travel insurance. Hope this better explains it! Call us at 800-930-7956 with any further questions.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Jim Bill,
The only information that we have on CHOICE is that while all veterans receive a CHOICE card, you will not have access to the program at all times. It appears to be only allow eligibility on specific case by case bases. Now, I understand not wanting to pay for Part B; however, the VA highly recommends that you keep all private insurance/Medicare. For any other questions about CHOICE, you'll want to contact them directly.
-Eric from https://www.senior65.com/


Gary,
If you have Medicare, you can see any doctor in the U.S. or its territories that accept Medicare assignment.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Carlos
, We always say that the VA is the best place to answer this question, especially your local VA facility. The reason is some facilities are not equipped to treat certain illnesses; therefore, if you are not enrolled in Medicare, but become sick and your local VA cannot treat you, you'll have to wait to apply for Part B (Jan-March), then wait months for your effective date (July), and will owe a penalty. Please contact your VA office and Medicare to make your most informed decision.
-Jacima from https://www.senior65.com/


Daniel,
If you are covered by the VA (not ChampVA) and are covered by Medicare, they do not work together. VA care works at VA facilities, Medicare works at any facility outside of the VA that accepts assignment. Not positive which one would cover your emergency, so you should contact both the VA and Medicare to find out.
-Eric from https://www.senior65.com/


Susan,
Unfortunately, we are not experts on VA healthcare. You should contact the VA directly to find out how ChampVA works for your husband. Best of luck!
-Michelle from https://www.senior65.com/


Bob,
The VA may cover your non-VA providers prescriptions BUT only if your VA doctor agrees that the drug prescribed is necessary. You may want to consider getting a Medicare prescription drug plan or other Medicare health plan to cover you since you are 200 miles away from a facility. Please call us at 800-930-7956 for further assistance.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


Vicki,
We 100% agree with you! Very sage advice, and what we always tell veterans, along with communicate with the VA before making any decisions.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Arnold,
You will want to contact Medicare to cancel Parts A and B, and if you have a Medicare Advantage (Part C) or drug plan (Part D) contact those companies directly. We suggest before you cancel any Medicare plan, that you speak with the VA and ask if their facility does not have the ability to treat certain illnesses or injuries. Hope this helps!
-Jacima from https://www.senior65.com/


William,
According to the VA you can receive and the VA will cover emergency care from non-VA facilities if "the VA cannot furnish economical care due to your distance from the facility; or when VA is unable to furnish the needed emergency services." Usually, once your condition is stable you would need to be moved to a VA facility, or the VA may stop paying for care.

With that said, if you want to use services outside of the VA for non-emergency care or for care that the VA does not cover, you may choose to enroll in a Medicare Supplement and Part D plan.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Gene,
According to the VA, no, you don't need both. But we suggest for every situation, you should contact the VA directly and get counseling from them. The reason is, if you were to give up your Medicare Supplement plan, and you decide you want it in the future, you most likely will have to answer medical questions, and you could be charged more or denied. Make sure not to cancel your Medigap plan until you receive information from the VA. Best of luck!
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Paul,
Good news! If you are covered under your wife's insurance, you may not owe a penalty for enrolling in Part B and have a guaranteed issuance period for Medigap (since it may be considered creditable coverage). The reason you may want to get a Medicare Supplement plan (Medigap) is to cover most costs not associated with the VA. Get a Medigap quote and apply right from your computer. For any further questions, please call 800-930-7956.
-Eric from https://www.senior65.com/


T.O.,
Thank you for the clarification. More than likely your BCBS plan will now work as a supplement to Medicare, and may require you to have both Part A and B. You will need to contact your HR department to confirm this. As for the second part, many clients choose to have Part B, because some services may not be available through the VA in their area (this is not true for everyone). You will want to contact the VA about this.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


TO,
Your question rises a question for us, if you have BCBS what kind of coverage is that (individual, Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, or prescription drug coverage)? If you have any of the last three, you probably have Part B already. If you don't have any of the last three, you can choose to not have Part B, but if you want it later you will owe a penalty and there is a specific enrollment period (Jan 1 -March 31), and your effective date would be July 1. Looking forward to hearing back from you.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Marie,
We understand this is a big decision. While we can't tell you to go one way or another, we can give you some things to consider.

1) If he gives up his Part B, he could owe a penalty. As well as, if he wanted to enroll in Part B there is only one general enrollment period each year (starts in Jan) and the effective date would be in July.

2) If he gives up his Supplement insurance, he may have a difficult time obtaining it in the future if he has medical conditions.

3) Some services may not be covered by the VA. You'll want to get a list of their care, to make an informed decision.

4) Good news is you'll still have Part A. That way if you need to be hospitalized outside of the VA, you'll have some coverage.

Hope this helps!
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


Judy,
There isn't really a straight answer for your question, as it's a personal decision. Keep in mind, you will not lose your ChampVA coverage if you enroll in Medicare Supplement Insurance. With that said, ChampVA does not have a premium, and covers basically the same coverage as most Medigap plans, and may not need the additional coverage. Therefore, you will want to look over your ChampVA coverage and compare it to Medigap coverage, to see if it makes sense to you -as sometimes ChampaVA and Medicare's benefits do not overlap. Also, you will want to talk to the VA for their opinion. Hope this helps!
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Dapple,
Medicare Supplement plans cover the gaps of Original Medicare (ie. copays, coinsurance, and deductibles), and we believe it offers the greatest financial protection in case of serious injury or illness. However, f your father ONLY wants to get his care at the VA or he doesn't mind having to pay out (sometimes a lot of money) when he seeks care from non-VA doctors and facilities, then he may consider dropping his Medicare Supplement. With that said, we always suggest contacting the VA before making any decision on private health care.
-Jacima from https://www.senior65.com/


Michael,
Since you just turned 65, you should be within your initial enrollment period to get a Medigap plan, such as Plan F. If you were to enroll in Plan F, it would cover your Medicare deductibles, copays, and coinsurance, and after your premium, you shouldn't have any out of pocket costs, as long as Medicare covers it. Now, if Medigap's premium is too high, you may want to consider a Medicare Advantage plan, because it puts a max on your out of pocket spending at 00. Hope this helps!
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Pam,
Your father can apply for a Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan in his area. Please call us at 800-930-7956, so that we can help him find a plan in his area.
-Eric from https://www.senior65.com/


Claudia,
Medigap Plan F would be a great option for your husband when he seeks care in a non-VA facility. However, Medigap plans do not offer drug coverage, so he would still need to keep his Part D. Please let us know if you need help finding a plan.
-Michelle from https://www.senior65.com/


Dean,
We totally understand why you would consider dropping these plans. Things you may want to consider is that, as one of people who commented below experienced, some services may not be available through the VA. So, if you still want the availability to see doctors outside of the VA, you'll at least want to keep your Part B benefit, and then you'll want to consider if you want to keep the Medigap and Part D (as you can get your drugs from the VA). Something to remember that once you give up Medigap, it can be difficult to be approved, and usually you'll pay more than if you kept your plan. Please call us if you would like more help on this subject at 800-930-7956.
-Eric from https://www.senior65.com/


Jerry,
Unfortunately, we won't be able to give you a straight answer for a few reasons. If the VA is covering your oxygen, it would depend on how you are covered through them. Since, the VA is totally separate from Medicare, you'll want to contact the VA directly for this information.

As for Medicare Advantage, since each plan covers each service and item differently, you'll want to look over your Medicare Advantage summary of benefits, to see how they cover oxygen -however, Medicare Advantage will not cover oxygen purchased through a VA facility or pharmacy. Hope this puts you in the right direction to get you answers.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


Janet,
You can cancel his Medicare Supplement, however you'll want to consider a few things. 1) If he cancels his Supplement (Medigap), he'll have to pay out of pocket for his portion of Medicare services when he is unable to seek care at the VA, 2) The VA may have some limited care for certain illnesses, and 3) If he cancels his Medigap plan, it may be difficult for him to get one in the future. Hope this helps!
-Jacima from https://www.senior65.com/


Wallace,
Thank you for your question. If you want to get Medicare Supplement insurance will depend on whether you plan to use doctors and facilities outside of the VA. If you do, and you want to limit your financial liability, considering adding a Medigap plan may be a good choice for you. Please contact us at 800-930-7956.
-Michelle from https://www.senior65.com/


FS,
Thank you for your question. If your husband wants to fill his prescriptions through the VA, but from a non-VA provider (a doctor that accepts Medicare assignment), there are certain criteria he would have to meet:

1) He must be enrolled in VA benefits AND
2) He must have a VA PCP (primary care physician) AND
3) He has given his VA doctor his medical records from his Medicare doctor AND
4) His VA doctor determines that the prescription is necessary and the correct drug for your husband to take.

So he'll have to go into the VA to be approved for any prescription drugs, and it appears that he must fill his original prescription at the window, and then he can get refills (if available) by mail. However, he should confirm with his VA physician's office if he can do a straight mail-order.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Kramer,
Since the VA does not count as creditable coverage, he may have to wait until January to enroll. And, to get Medigap, he would need to answer medical questions, and could be denied.

However, if he had job-based insurance or other creditable coverage until now (on top of the VA benefits), then more than likely would qualify to enroll in Part B when he leaves his job or loses that coverage, and would have a guaranteed issuance period for Medigap.

Please call us at 800-930-7956, so that we can better help with your specific situation.
-Michelle from https://www.senior65.com/


Robert,
Unfortunately, we don't know enough about the new Veteran's Choice Program to give you an answer. We suggest you contact the VA directly for help with this.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


James,
We totally understand that paying that much extra can be daunting. However, if you want to keep your Medicare Supplement (Medigap), you'll need to keep Part B. As well as, if you drop Medicare Part B, you'll only be able to visit VA facilities -which seems like it could be a long drive for you if you needed to drive 60 plus miles to visit a doctor. You may want to contact the VA for their opinion on this matter. Hope this helps!
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


Judy,
Not a problem. Click here to get the majority of our Medigap quotes. If you would like help, please call 800-930-7956.
-Michelle from https://www.senior65.com/


Harley,
You'll use your Medicare Part B to see doctors, coverage for certain drugs for cancer, get a second opinion before surgery, and physical, speech, and occupational therapy outside of the VA. Hope this helps!
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


Winston,
If you want to see doctors and use facilities outside of the VA, and want to limit your personal medical costs, a Medigap plan is a great option. Also, we always suggest that veterans contact the VA to confirm their benefits before making any decision. Hope this helps!
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/



Thank you for your question. We'd love to be able to help you find a comparable plan. We would need a little more information to get you a quote, please call us at 800-930-7956.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Charles,
You'll want to contact your local VA to help you figure out your medical benefits. Hope this helps!
-Jacima from https://www.senior65.com/


Paul,
Most people will automatically be signed up for Medicare Part A (hospital coverage), and will not have to pay a premium for that care. If you decide that you want to receive all of your care at VA facilities, then you can choose to not enroll in Part B (medical coverage), and save the premium costs. With that said, we always suggest you speak with the VA before making any decisions about your health care.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


Rocco,
If you don't want to plan on using facilities outside of the VA and have decided you don't want Medicare Part B benefits, you'll want to delay it by calling the number on the back of your red, white, and blue Medicare card, or there should be instructions on the original letter they sent you. Hope this helps.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Michael,
Deciding which Medicare plan you should enroll in depends on a few things.

1) If you are planning to receive all of your care at a VA facility, then your VA benefits would cover you;

2) If you are planning on receiving your benefits at non-VA facilities, if it is within your budget and you prefer having a large network, you may want to with A) Medigap, to cover your deductibles, copays, and coinsurance, OR, if you are on a budget, and don't mind a local, HMO type network, you may want to go with B) Medicare Advantage, to limit your out of pocket spending, and add extras like drug and dental coverage.

Let us know if you have any further questions.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


Walter,
Thank you for your question. Go to the Veterans' Affairs website and you should find a contact number there to help you.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


George,
Good question. Enrolling in Part D and Medigap depends on two things 1) If your VA benefits will cover you enough at a VA facility 2) If you plan on only using doctors and pharmacy outside of VA facilities. If you plan on only using VA facilities and pharmacies, and it covers enough, then you probably would not need to enroll. If not, then yes you would want to consider both Medigap and separate drug coverage.
-Jacima from https://www.senior65.com/


John,
Thank you for your question. If you get your prescriptions from somewhere outside of a VA facility, you will need Part D, BUT if you are getting drugs administered in non-VA hospital, those drugs should be covered by Part B and Medigap (if it covers your Part B copay/coinsurance). Hope this helps!
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


Doug,
Thank you for your question. Under Medicare, you should be covered up to their limits without having coordination of care -since VA benefits, as far as we know, are only handled at VA facilities once you turn 65, and Medicare benefits are only covered at Medicare assigned facilities (which do not include VA facilities).

Many veterans enroll in an MA or Medigap plan to limit their coverage at civilian facilities. As always, we suggest to contact the VA to confirm your health coverage with them. Hope this helps.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


Jim,
You absolutely can forgo signing up for Part B but there can be a penalty if you sign up later, as you'll see by the comment below, there are other reasons to consider enrolling. As always, we suggest that you contact the VA for their suggestion.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


Ron,
We totally understand why this is confusing. You don't need to enroll in Medicare Part B if you have VA benefits; however, there are a few things you will want to consider before choosing not to enroll.

1) If you enroll in Part B later on you may owe a Part B late penalty
2) There are only specific periods in which you can enroll in Part B later on
3) If you require care not offered by VA doctors for more day to day services (Part A will cover your hospitalization coverage), you would have to pay it all out of pocket until you can enroll in Part B.

Our main suggestion is contact the VA for their opinion. Hope this helps.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/

Jeff,
Great questions. Many veterans and their spouses are able to keep their VA benefits past 65, but you want to check with the VA to see what tier you fall under, and how your benefits are covered. If you don't get to keep full benefits, you may want to consider a Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan. Please keep us up to date on what you find out.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


Stu,
Thank you for questions. Here are the answers to your questions

1) If you have creditable coverage leading up to enrolling in Medigap, generally your Medigap provider cannot place a waiting period on preexisting conditions.

2) Most of our clients who have cancer or other serious illnesses find that Medigap Plan F (since it covers everything that Medigap covers) offers the most benefits.


We suggest that you call us for your specific situation at 800-930-7956.
-Chris https://www.senior65.com/

Source: http://www.senior65.com/index.php/medicare/article/va-benefits-and-medicare-what-you-need-to-know


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