Can You Have A Medicare Advantage Plan With VA Benefits?

The simple answer to that question is yes, you can have both VA benefits and a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Benefits of Enrolling In A Medicare Advantage Plan

You may think that your VA benefits are enough coverage and that a Medicare Advantage Plan is pointless. Medicare Advantage Plans can actually prove to be beneficial to your health and wellbeing by providing added benefits that you were unaware of. 

Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage Plan allows you greater freedom when it comes to controlling your health care choices. Whether you are unable to visit a VA-approved physician, or you are seeking a second opinion about a diagnosis you may not agree with, enrolling in Medicare Advantage Plan obviously proves how beneficial it can be.

Many VA benefit plans do not offer dental coverage, but some Medicare Advantage Plans provide you with benefits that cover cleanings, x-rays, and fillings. Some also offer vision benefits, such as covering glasses and contact lenses. Medicare Advantage Plans also offer other options that VA benefits do not, such as gym memberships, coverage of some OTC medicines, hearing aids, and may even bring meals to your home after a hospital stay.

Some will even provide prescription drug coverage.

Enrolling In A Medicare Advantage Plan While Having VA Benefits

There are seven important aspects to consider when deciding whether enrolling in a Medicare Advantage Plan while still having VA benefits:

  1. You have to have Medicare Parts A and B. You receive your Medicare Advantage Plan through a private insurance company. In order to receive a Medicare Advantage Plan, you must have Parts A and B (Original Medicare). 
  2. Cash flow is king. VA benefits are either free or cost very little for veterans. Even with this fact, the VA still highly recommends enrolling in Medicare Parts A and B. Many people will receive premium-free Part A, and only be left with the Part B premium. Since you must be enrolled in Original Medicare to get Medicare Advantage, the premiums you pay for Original Medicare will be the same as what you pay while in Medicare Advantage. Some Medicare Advantage plans will also have their own monthly premium, but depending on your plan, your premium may be as low as $0.
  3. The potential to minimize travel and delays. If wait time at a VA facility is an issue for you, having a Medicare Advantage plan could be a better option to receive care in less time since you won’t be restricted to a VA facility. 
  4. All-in-one package. Many of those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan prefer this type of plan because all of their coverage is rolled into one plan. 
  5. Loss of care/eligibility for VA care. Budget cuts could cost some veterans to lose their VA benefits altogether, so having a Medicare Advantage Plan would be a great backup option.
  6. You can have both. Coverage with both VA benefits and a Medicare Advantage Plan does not conflict with each other and actually broadens your options for health treatments.
  7. Second opinion. You can receive a second opinion from a non-VA doctor for your diagnosis.

To learn more about how Medicare Advantage Plans can benefit those with VA coverage, reach out to Carolina Senior Benefits today!