I'm a Veteran, do I need Medicare?

April 9, 2021
Medicare Supplement Plans

Yes. We encourage you to sign up for Medicare as soon as you can. This is because:

Thank you for your service.  As a veteran you may have many questions in regard to what you need to do about Medicare and VA benefits.  Here are a couple highlights that a veteran needs to know.
  • Everyone has different benefits.  Just because you friend gets something does not mean that you will get the same thing they did.  The VA has many factors to determine what benefit level you get, such as: time of service, disability level, combat wounded, etc.
  • The VA is a government entity.  Medicare is a government entity.  The government will not charge itself; therefore, Medicare does not work at the VA.  
  • If you have a Medicare Supplement, the VA is allowed to bill them for service.  
  • If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, the VA is NOT allowed to bill them for service. 
  • If you have VA benefits and do not want a Part D prescription plan, you will NOT be charged the late enrollment penalty for not having a Medicare Part D plan if you ever want to get one later on. 
  • If you have VA benefits and do not want to enroll in Medicare Part B, you WILL be charged the late enrollment penalty for not having Medicare Part B if you want to get it later on. 
  • You can have a Medicare advantage plan and it will not affect your VA benefits

Medicare & VA

Most of the Veterans will talk to use the VA for a good amount of their healthcare needs.  When you go onto Medicare, none of that changes.  When you turn 65, you will get Medicare Part A automatically and it usually has no cost.  Medicare Part B does have a cost of $148.50 (as of 2021).  You are able to deny your Medicare Part B, however if you ever need/want it at a later date you will incur a penalty.  We usually recommend that everyone takes Medicare Part B because of this.  If you have Medicare A and B, then you can also enroll into a Medicare Advantage plan.  Many of the plans do not cost anything, and give you extra benefits like dental, vision, hearing, and over-the-counter health products.  There are a few Medicare Advantage plans that will partially refund your Medicare Part B as well. 

Medicare and Champ VA

If you or a spouse is on Champ VA, when you turn 65 you are required to enroll in Medicare Part A and B.  With Champ VA and Medicare, it will cover most of your medical bills.  In most cases it would not be worth the money to purchase a Medicare Supplement.  However, many people do choose to enroll into a Medicare Advantage plan to add extra benefits such as dental, vision, and hearing. 

Medicare and Tricare for Life

TFL is Medicare-wraparound coverage for TRICARE beneficiaries who have both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, regardless of age or place of residence. When using Medicare providers, TFL beneficiaries typically have no out-of-pocket costs for services covered by both Medicare and TRICARE.  You will not want a Medicare Supplement if you have Tricare for Life.  You are able to have a Medicare Advantage plan to add certain benefits such as dental, vision, and hearing.  

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