Explore the differences between Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits and Medicare Advantage plans in order to make your next healthcare and prescription selections.

If you have served in the military and carry Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare benefits, it’s important to know if you may be eligible to participate in a Medicare Advantage Plan and how that plan will complement your existing VA benefits.

Veterans who enroll in VA benefits through the federal government have access to outpatient and inpatient services, preventative services, prescriptions, supplies, and sometimes dental care. 

These benefits will vary person-by-person depending on service and time served. Additionally, VA benefits are serviced through VA-approved hospitals and doctors’ offices and may limit or deny to cover costs outside of that network.

If you are a veteran of age or otherwise eligible to receive Medicare, you are not obligated to enroll or use it. However, it may be valuable to acquire a Medicare Advantage Plan. We’ll outline the reasons below.

Note: VA benefits are not the same as TRICARE (formerly known as CHAMPSUS) or CHAMPSVA. Visit the links to learn more about these programs.

 

Medicare Part A and Part B Plans for Veterans

While VA benefits and Medicare plans are both healthcare coverage options provided by the government, they operate separately from one another.

However, a Medicare Advantage plan can expand your available healthcare options, providing complementary services to your VA benefits.

Veterans find this beneficial because they’re able to rely on both networks however they’d like. For instance, if you suffer an emergency and would like to go to an in-network civilian doctor’s office, you will be covered by your Medicare plan.

Medicare Advantage also provides benefits such as fitness discounts and over-the-counter (OTC) cards that will help cover the cost of OTC medicines such as denture-related products, pain relievers, sleep aids, and others. 

Dental and vision coverages are also major advantages to a Medicare Advantage plan.

The monthly premium of a Medicare Part B plan in 2023 is $164.90 (about $5 per month less than in 2022). Veterans may also qualify for additional premium rebates available in certain MA and MAPD plans.

 

Medicare Part D Plans for Veterans

Prescriptions are included in Medicare Part D. This plan is optional, and there’s no penalty for not enrolling in Part D outside of the general and open enrollment periods if you carried VA benefits drug coverage prior to enrolling.

Veterans may choose either Part D, stick to their VA benefits for prescriptions, or do both. 

It will be important to speak with a licensed agent who understands the differences between these plans—and which prescriptions are covered under each program—to help you select the best choice for your medication needs.

 

Coverage Protection for Veterans

Finally, enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan provides Veterans with additional coverages they may not currently receive, as well as second opinions for major medical procedures. A Medicare Advantage plan can also provide coverage for you to hospital networks not affiliated with the VA, providing more options and protection in case of emergency treatment.

Veterans, we thank you for your service and look forward to helping you make your next healthcare and prescription coverage selections.

Please call our My Medicare Network office at (440) 793-7745 or fill out our contact form below to get in touch with our licensed agents and learn which plans will work best for your needs.

My Medichoice Network