We often get folks asking us this question. And the answer is yes. With coverage through the Veterans Administration you should also enroll in Medicare Part B and you might also want to consider adding a supplement plan.
- Medicare Part B insurance helps pay for doctors’ services and outpatient care. It will cover you if you have an emergency and are taken to a non-VA hospital. Without Part B, you might have to pay some of those costs yourself. In future years, you also may have need to use medical providers outside the VA system. Those costs would be covered by Medicare.
- VA medical care depends on an annual congressional appropriation. There’s no guarantee that the VA will always receive enough funds to provide care for all veterans.
- Although the VA is not permitted to bill Medicare for the care it provides you, it is allowed to bill your Medicare supplemental (Medigap) insurance plan. If you have both Medicare and a Medigap policy, it could provide you with valuable health insurance package.
- As a low-income person, you may be able to get help paying your Part B premiums through the state-run Medicare Savings Program. Go to this Medicare webpage to find out which agency in your state runs the program.
You can discuss your situation both with Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and with the Veterans Administration health benefits office by calling 1-877-222-8387 toll-free. Don’t be surprised if they both urge you to enroll in Part B as soon as you’re eligible.