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Ensure You're Covered: Combining VA Benefits With A Medicare Plan

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Serving your country is a tireless effort that deserves a large reward. For veterans, one repayment comes in the form of VA benefits. While utilizing these services is very straight-forward, once you reach the age to qualify for Medicare coverage, things can get a little complicated. Learn how to best select and use your Medicare insurance along with your veteran benefits.

Widespread Healthcare Coverage

Veteran benefits are an excellent set of benefits to have and one that you have rightfully earned. However, it's important to understand that the benefits offered through this service are not limitless. Most important, VA healthcare is only offered at specific facilities and limited to certain treatments and procedures. 

In the event that you aren't near a facility or you need care that is not covered, you'd be left to pay, out of pocket, 100% of your healthcare costs without Medicare coverage. At the very least, signing up for Medicare Parts A and B will help ensure you have more widespread medical and hospital coverage when you can't be seen at a VA facility. 

Prescription Access

In the same manner in which you are restricted to certain types of treatments and certain facilities for medical care, you are restricted when it comes to prescription coverage. The VA will generally only cover prescription medications that are within their limited formulary and that are prescribed by their medical team. 

Medicare has an entirely separate formulary and is accessible no matter whom you receive your prescription from. Having Medicare along with your VA benefits gives you more opportunities to find the right medication for your needs and save money. 

Separation vs. Retirement

As you know, the benefits extended to those service members that serve for 20 years or more are different from those who separate before this threshold. Although the offered plan, Tricare, offers very good coverage, you must still signup for Medicare coverage once you are of age.

First, a failure to sign up will lead to an enrollment penalty. Second, Medicare will serve as a secondary benefit to your existing health plan. As a result, the portion of your healthcare coverage that is not covered by your primary plan will likely be covered by Medicare. As a benefit to you, you could zero out your healthcare share costs, which will save you a considerable amount of money if you require regular care. 

Medicare plans come in a variety of different options to meet the specific needs of each person. Rather than choosing a plan that does not fully meet your needs, don't hesitate to ask for assistance with the selection process. 

For more information on your Medicare options, visit a website like