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Medicare Veterans: To Part B or Not to Part B

Serving our country is an incredible sacrifice and for many it entitles you to healthcare coverage provided by the largest integrated system in the country. VA benefits may even provide services not covered by Original Medicare including prescription drugs and hearing aids.

However, healthcare through the VA leaves many people asking if they are missing out on benefits they deserve. With VA coverage you must get your healthcare from VA facilities and do not have the same access to Medicare participating doctors and services outside of the VA system.

 

Veterans often express reluctance to use Medicare coverage because you must sign-up for Part B benefits.

Part B is the Medicare program which covers things like physician services, outpatient hospital, and medical equipment. For 2017, the cost of Part B for individuals who have it deducted from their social security is about $109. However, the amount increases if you don’t sign up for Part B when you are first eligible. You may incur a premium penalty for each 12 month period you were without Part B coverage.

Before you decide to enroll in Part B, or not, know there is another option which can help you stop the late enrollment penalty and offset the cost of the Part B premium. The answer is a Medicare Advantage health plan which offers a Part B premium rebate. With these plans you keep your VA benefits and have the coverage of Original Medicare PLUS extra benefits such as gym membership, eyeglasses, dental and prescription drug coverage outside of the VA.

As the son of a retired Army Major, and someone who spent twenty years working for Newport News Shipyard building aircraft carriers and submarines for the United States Navy, it is important to me for Veterans to understand all of their healthcare options. I welcome you, and your Veteran, to contact our office at 727-845-5297 so we can discuss your service to the country and the healthcare options that you have.

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