If you qualify for Veterans Administration benefits, thank you for serving our country. Thank you for giving people like me the unearned luxury of taking for granted the freedoms we have here.
I also want to apologize for how often I’ve taken your service for granted.
Is Coverage from the Veterans Administration Enough?
If you have the option of getting all your medical care from the VA, you could avoid enrolling in any additional coverage.
But there are two things you should consider before you make a final decision. You may not have to pay much, if anything, for additional coverage and your VA coverage may not cover everything you need.
You can get solid coverage with a combination of Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B and a Medicare Advantage Plan.
You won’t be charged for your red, white and blue Medicare Part A card if you have worked in the US for 10 years or more. Although the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B is $134 in 2017, you may qualify to have the State of Connecticut pay this for you. There are at least four $0 monthly premium Medicare Advantage Plans available in every county in Connecticut. You can get good coverage for between $0 and $134 a month if one of the $0 premium plans is a good fit for you.
Click to see the income limits for Free Medicare Part B in Connecticut. Many of my clients tell me how surprised they are when learn they qualify for this program.
Your Costs in a Non-VA Hospital
A medical emergency could force you to seek care from a non-VA hospital. Medicare Part A can cover a lot of the cost. But shortly after you walk out of the hospital, you will see a bill for the Part A deductible in your mailbox.
The 2017 deductible is $1,288. This money will come out of your pocket unless you have other coverage. If you are in the hospital for more than 60 days, you will be responsible for other charges.
Your Cost to See a Non-VA Doctor
You will have to pick up the full cost when you see a doctor outside of the Veterans Administration system. Medicare Part A will not cover visits to non-VA physicians. You will also see a bill for physical therapy visits and other care you seek outside the VA system.
You will pay full costs for your drugs if you cannot get them from the VA.
Plus, you could be hit with a late enrollment penalty if you decide to enroll in Part B later.
Some Other Opinions to Consider
Please click the links below to hear what others have to say about this topic.
(The AARP article lists the 2012 premium for Medicare Part B, but the rest of the information is current.)