Veterans & Retirees access additional benefits with Medicare Advantage options
Retirees with Tricare for Life are required
to enroll in Medicare Pt. A & Pt. B at age 65
Veterans Administration (VA) recommends
veterans do not decline Medicare Part B
Veterans enrolled in the VA Healthcare system are encouraged to enroll in Medicare Part B for several reasons.
VA Healthcare assigns Veterans into priority groups in an effort to expedite care and ensure health care benefits are available to all enrolled Veterans.
VA does not know if Congress will provide enough funding in future years to care for all. If you are in one of the lower priority groups, you could lose your VA healthcare benefits in the future.
If you have Medicare Part B and you cancel it, you won't be able to get it back until January of the following year. You may also pay a penalty to reinstate your Part B coverage.
- Having Medicare means you are covered if you need to go to a non-VA hospital or doctor- so you have more options
- If you delay signing up for Medicare Part B & then need to sign up because you lose your VA coverage or need more choices-you will pay a late enrollment penalty for the rest of your life.
If you sign up for Medicare Part D you will be able to fulfill your non-VA prescriptions at your local pharmacy.
Veterans enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan are still able to access VA healthcare benefits including the VA pharmacy and have the additional options of the Medicare Advantage plans network of physicians and pharmacy benefits.
Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans work together with TRICARE For Life. Medicare pays first, then TRICARE pays last. If you are entitled to premium-free Medicare Part A, you must also have Medicare Part B to keep TRICARE regardless of your age or residency. Once you have Part A & Part B you automatically receive TRICARE benefits under TRICARE For Life.
It is very important to keep your information in DEERS up to date.
Medicare Advantage only plans can include additional benefits not available through Original Medicare. Added benefits can include vision, hearing, dental, and fitness memberships. Plus, TRICARE For Life members with a Medicare Advantage Only plan have the flexibility to see civilian doctors that accept Medicare. Medicare Advantage Only plans do not include Prescription Drug Coverage. TRICARE for Life members have excellent Prescription Drug Coverage in their TRICARE for Life Plans.
Members should consult with a licensed, local Medicare Sales Agent to find a Medicare Advantage Only plan that meets their needs.