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Tricare, Medicare Va Ss Disability



Hi, I'm going to start getting Medicare of 3/2013 and will be 60 years old. I wanted to know if anyone on this web site uses another plan like United Healthcare AARP PPO with their Tricare. I talked to a Medicare lady tonight and was advised to search out further answers but she has experienced a lot of VETS us plain old Medicare with no additional plan and use plain ofld MEdicare. I do use the VA as I have been rated as if I was 100 percent disabled. Do not need prescription help but I was wondering if anyone can comment of what they know. Thanks.

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My 60 YO wife is on SS and Medicare. We of coarse have TRICARE standard. It appears to me that the Tricare acts like a suppliment as Medicare is billed first, then Tricare has always picked up the rest. Seems to work for us.

Hope this helps.

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Well like Dano I will be going on medicare 6/2013. I am going to convert my Blue Cross/Blue Shield as seconary to medicare. I will use the VA medical service as much as I can, but will rely on med/BCBS most of the time.

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I retired from the Military and both my wife and I had Tricare Prime with a co-payment of $12 dollars. Shortly after I retired i recieved my social security so I was given Medicare as being my primary and tri-care as secondary. I no longer have a deductable nor a co-payment for tri-care, but my wife still has tri-care with a deductable and the $12 co-payment. Plus I also have VA health care for my service connected disabilities. I was told by tri-care that I had to except medicare in order to continue insurance through tri-care as a secondary. Hope this is helpful.

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Thanks everyone. My understand is that I should use plain old Medicare (what the Govt. gives you without secondary insurance such as the AARP United Health Care Plan) with Tricare standard as secondary insurance. I use the VA in most cases since its only 3 miles away but would like to have someone who has a Medicare (supplement plan-Humana, UHC etc) and Tricare as second. My understanding as I am 60 is that some of these plans have gym memberships(silver sneakers) and would like to have that ability without paying for it. I will talk to the Tricare staff here at Mountain Home today but wanted to have anyone weigh in if they have this kind of combination. Thank you for all your response, as it is much appreciated and informative!

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Here's what I found on Tricare site:

Tricare Help: Do we need a Medicare Advantage Plan?

By James E. Hamby Jr. - Special to Military Times

Posted : Thursday Jan 12, 2012 11:25:38 EST

Q. My wife and I have Tricare for Life and Medicare Parts A and B. I keep seeing commercials for Medicare Advantage plans. Should we get one of those as a backup?

A. Don’t be seduced by ads for Medicare Advantage plans. Those ads are written for civilians who don’t have two full-service insurance plans, as you and your wife have under Tricare for Life. Most of the extras, if not all of them, are already yours through Tricare Standard, which comes free with TFL and acts as a Medicare supplement.

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I am not sure I agree with Mr. Humby when he said,

Don’t be seduced by ads for Medicare Advantage plans. Those ads are written for civilians who don’t have two full-service insurance plans, as you and your wife have under Tricare for Life. Most of the extras, if not all of them, are already yours through Tricare Standard, which comes free with TFL and acts as a Medicare supplement.

First, my wife has Champva, not tricare. BUT, I do know she wound up paying about $1000 last year for medical bills. You see, Champva only pays what Champva thinks its worth, not what the doc bills. Even tho it says the Veteran is not responsible for the rest, on the bottom of the champva notice, expect the medical provider to "come after you" for the rest anyway.

More importantly, at least some Medicare Advantage plans have a "0" premium. If you get a zero premium medicare advantage plan and you go to the doc, you dont have to go only to the lousy docs who only take medicare..you have many more choices. More choices is better, even tho some people can not make up their mind.

Medicare makes up your mind for you!! The default is to medicare, that is, unless you send in the form and or go with a medicare advantage, then you are in medicare. There is a reason this is the default! Its just like Va benefits. The "default" is zero benefits. So if it takes the VA 20 years until you are dead to decide, then you get "zero" benefits.

My advice is to carefully weigh all your options, and not to listen to advice from someone who claims they are with the government and are there to help you.

I have graduated from H&K University (college of hard knocks), and have learned NOT to always trust the VA, so why would medicare be special?

Edited by broncovet (see edit history)
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I have been on medicare and tricare for life for the past 3 years and my wife for the last 2 years. My wife has a lot of medical issues and I have a few with a couple more about to be added to the list. We have not had to pay anything since being on both of them. I had a hospital visit and the bill was 18,600 and was told by the hospital that everything was taken care of. The doc.'s and hospitals bill medicare first and then tricare. I don't know if we just got lucky or what but, I'm not going to ask questions. Forgot to add that all of our meds are done thru express scripts with tricare and it costs us 3.00 per script. If your doc. gives you something that you cannot take a generic for then they only pay 80% of that and you have to get it thru a drug store.

Edited by boomer2 (see edit history)
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I have had Medicare and Tricare prime since 1999. Now one thing that all military retirees need to consider is that at age 65, ( look at your retiree ID Card) all civilian medical care stops. This means that Tricare for life will not pay civilian medical bills after age 65. So when you hit that magic age or go on Medicare which ever is first, you will have Tricare for life and also starting in Jan 2013 you must be within 40 miles of a military medical facility to be able to keep Tricare Prime. At age 65 you will need a Medicare supplement. Keep in mind Tricare for life is free once you start on Medicare so paying for a Medicare supplement at age 65 isn't in addition to any cost for Tricare.

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