FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2016
To answer that question, you need to understand how Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits and Medicare works.
You can have both Medicare and VA benefits but they do not work together. Medicare does not pay for care received at a VA facility and VA benefits generally do not cover care received at non-VA facilities. Some veterans use their VA benefits to get coverage for health care services not covered by Medicare, such as over-the-counter medications and hearing aids, and use their Medicare to help cover services outside the VA health system.
If you get most of your care at VA facilities you might question your need to have Medicare (remember Medicare Part B has a monthly premium), but beware! If you do not enroll in Medicare Part B when first eligible, you may incur a delayed enrollment penalty (10% per year for every full 12-month period you delayed enrollment) and you can only enroll during a certain time of the year. For this reason, the VA recommends enrolling in Medicare Part B.
Some veterans also use their VA benefits to cover prescription medications, since the VA’s drug coverage often offers better prescription drug benefits than what is available under Medicare (Part D). This is particularly true with brand name medications. Because Medicare considers the VA’s prescription drug coverage to be creditable, meaning it is as good or better than Medicare’s prescription drug benefit, veterans can delay enrolling in a Medicare Part D plan without penalty. Note that although you can have both Medicare Part D and VA drug coverage, the two do not work together. VA benefits only cover medications you get from VA pharmacies and Part D plans usually only cover medications you get from pharmacies that are within the plan’s network.
To learn more about how your VA benefits work with Medicare or how you might be able to save money on your Florida Medicare Part B premiums please feel to contact Sun Coast Legacy Advisors P.L. at (888) 455-5799.
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