Veterans' Benefits and Medicare

VA Health Care Coverage – https://www.vets.gov/

• Explore and apply for VA services
• Request your records
• Find VA locations
• Manage your benefits – health, education and others!

From: https://www.vets.gov/health-care/eligibility

How do I find out if I am eligible for any medical care or drug benefits?

You are eligible to apply for VA health care if you are a veteran of active military service and were discharged or released from service under honorable conditions, provided that you meet minimum duty requirements. You can find out at https://www.vets.gov/health-care/eligibility/ and also apply through this site, by phone at 1-877-222-8387, in person at your local VA healthcare facility, or by mail by picking up an application at your local VA (find at https://www.vets.gov/facilities/) or downloading printing and filling out the *1010EZ, Application for Health Care https://www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/1010EZ-fillable.pdf and mailing it.

View the “VA Health Care Benefits Overview, 2018 Edition, Volume 1” publication at https://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/resources/publications/IB10-185_health_care_overview_2018.pdf

PLEASE NOTE (from page 15-16 of the publication above):
“Under Medicare Part B, VA health care is NOT creditable coverage. Creditable coverage under Medicare Part B can only be provided through an employer. Although a Veteran may avoid the late enrollment penalty for Medicare Part D by citing VA health care enrollment, that enrollment would not help the Veteran avoid the late enrollment penalty for Part B.

VA does not recommend Veterans cancel or decline coverage in Medicare (or other health care or insurance programs) solely because they are enrolled in VA health care. Unlike Medicare, which offers the same benefits for all enrollees, VA assigns enrollees to enrollment priority groups based on a variety of eligibility factors, such as service-connection and income. There is no guarantee that in future years Congress will appropriate sufficient medical care funds for VA to provide care for all enrollment priority groups. This could leave Veterans, especially those enrolled in one of the lower-priority groups, with no access to VA health care coverage. For this reason, having a secondary source of coverage may be in Veterans’ best interest.

Enrolling in both VA and Medicare can provide Veterans flexibility. For example, Veterans enrolled in both programs would have access to community physicians (under Medicare Part A or Part B) and can obtain prescription drugs not on the VA formulary if prescribed by community physicians and filled at their local retail pharmacies (under Part D).”