Great news for Veterans age 65 and older…you have options when deciding how to obtain healthcare! You can just use the VA benefits and/or enroll onto a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Stand-Alone Part D Plan.
Did you know the VA and Medicare seldom coordinate benefits? This is why it is recommended beneficiaries enroll into Part A & B. This will also help avoid the late enrollment penalties of 10% for each year you delayed enrollment.
You can have both Medicare and VA, however, you will need to choose which one to use each time you receive services. As you probably know, to receive VA benefits you must go to a VA facility or get authorization from the VA to utilize a non- VA facility. A Medicare Advantage Plan has a specific network which means you will need to receive care in those networks to avoid excess out-of-pocket expenses. Most Medicare Advantage plans are HMO plans and do not offer benefits out-of-network unless in an emergency. Here are some situations to consider enrolling onto a Medicare Advantage Plan:
- Everything in one plan
- Location and wait times – where you live and how far away you are from a VA facility.
- Getting a second opinion
- Your VA eligibility changes
- Worldwide Travel benefits
When it comes to Part D and the VA Prescription Drug coverage, most veterans will use the VA to get their prescriptions primarily because there is a lower out-of-pocket cost than with a Part D plan. Here are some situations to consider enrolling onto a Part D plan:
- A medication that is not covered under the VA
- More choices and convenience
- You can have both, VA and Part D
- Location – where you live and how far away you are from a VA facility.
- Mail order options
If you have specific questions regarding VA benefits you would need to contact the VA at www.va.gov. If you have specific questions regarding Medicare related issues, feel free to give us a call (888) 560-4299 ext 103 or send our Certified Medicare Agent, Nanette Adkison an email at Nanette@journey-fg.com.