Veterans who coordinate Medicare benefits have learned 4 critical lessons.
They have great prescription coverage with the VA.
With VA health benefits, you typically get premium-free drug coverage from VA-approved pharmacy locations or the Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy Program (CMOP).
Sometimes VA does not work for you. You can have both VA prescription drug benefits and a Medicare prescription Part D drug plan. You may consider a Part D or a Part C plan with prescription drug coverage. With low income you qualify for Extra Help (the federal assistance program that helps people with Medicare afford their Part D drug costs) or if your nursing home is outside of the VA health system and you need medications from the nursing home pharmacy.
Veterans Coordinate Medicare Benefits because the VA does not cover all possible services veterans need.
The VA provides medical care on a priority rating system. Your priority level determines how much you will pay for services and what is covered. Some services, such as dental or vision care, may be limited. And emergency services may be limited to service-related conditions.
VA services are not available everywhere.
You may live or travel far away from VA facilities or providers. Having services available locally may be more convenient and cost-effective.
VA benefits are renewed annually by Congress.
Benefits are subject to annual appropriations by Congress. Benefits might change from year to year.
Note that Medicare and VA Healthcare work alongside each other – they do not coordinate directly. Veterans with Tricare and family members on CHAMPVA have separate planning issues.
Learn More About Coordinating Benefits.
These articles will help veterans coordinate Medicare benefits. Additional information is available in the latest video newsletter. And on the VA website at https://www.va.gov/health-care/about-va-health-benefits/va-health-care-and-other-insurance/.