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VA Healthcare vs. Tricare vs. Medicare

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TomJR66

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I’m not sure if this is the correct forum for my question… I’m 100% P&T from the VA and eligible for VA Healthcare. I’m also a military retiree and I’m eligible for Tricare. I’m also eligible for Medicare. Do I have to choose just one and only one or can I keep my options open depending on my healthcare needs?

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I’ve learned more about my situation. My VA Healthcare is free for all ER visits, routine checkups & treatment, dental, eye exams, and prescriptions. My Medicare is free but it’s Part A which only covers ER visits. Part B covers outpatient visits costs $170/month plus 30% for late enrollment plus deductibles & copays. Therefore I don’t have Medicare Part B. And without Medicare Part B I am not eligible for Tricare for Life. I guess I answered my own question but I was curious if anyone else is in the same situation and have experienced any issues.

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Short answer:

    Retiree's get TRICARE.

    Disabled Vets (family) gets Champva.  

   The Veteran does not get Champva, only dependents.  Vets get VA health care, community care if eligible, and, they "can" opt into Medicare Part B "but only if" they agree to pay Part B premium, which is about $170 per month.  

    I chose to get medicare Part B, through a medicare advantage provider, Humana, and pay the 170 per month.  Why?  Because VA "does not always have" what I may need, or, they may have it but its substandard.  

   Medicare:  At your age 65 or if disabled on date of disability.  

   

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Thanks. I’ve been dealing with the VA for 5 years as my primary health provider I haven’t had any problems.🤞🙏 I’m actually impressed in some areas and their efficiency is better than I expected.   If I move to where there’s no VA facility I can pay for Medicare Plan B plus the penalty. My family is covered through Tricare.

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Tom....get Part B.  You want Tricare for life.  You will be well covered with VA and Part B and Tricare.  My wife has ChampVA and we both have Medicare A&B.  I also have medical I got as a federal government retiree.  I take all I can get even if it is overkill.  My wife was in the hospital overnight three years ago.  Her bill was $50,000 because of all the testing she got. We did not pay a dime.  I know what medical bills can mean especially if someone has to go into a nursing home.  No medical insurance covers basic nursing home bills.  I am highly suspicious of VA approved nursing homes.  I have long term care for both me and my wife.  I think saving money on Medicare Part B may cost you a fortune later.  I spent a week in a VA hospital two years ago.  It was a nightmare.  You don't want to go there unless you are without options.  VA has lots of programs and many are good.  I would not want them to operate on me for anything serious.  Private docs and hospitals are bad enough. I am paranoid about the VA and I admit it.  Now you are retired the biggest expense you will ever have  are medical.  My sister is a bankruptcy attorney.  Most of her clients go bankrupt over medical expenses.

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John, thank you for your input. This is exactly what I want to know. I’m in New Orleans and our VA Hospital is brand new. The staff morale is very high. They also use specialty doctors from LSU Hospital which is literally next door the the VA. I have had excellent care so far 🤞but if we move or if I catch something serious I’m not sure how they will do. I will be calling Medicare tomorrow to inquire about Part B. I want to know how limitations there are. I’m also curious about Part C and if it even applies to me.

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Part C is Medicare Advantage.  It is not Medicare.  I don't see how private insurance companies make money with Part C.  The only way I can think of is by denying coverage to people.  With your coverage regular Medicare you would have  total and complete coverage.

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