Medicare-eligible people, including veterans, have an important decision to make before Tuesday, December 7, the annual election period (AEP) deadline for the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan. Selecting the plan that best suits your individual health needs is a critical decision, as the plan you select is the coverage you will have for the entire year 2022, with a few exceptions. For Medicare beneficiaries who also receive health care benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), there is still more to consider.
Veterans should know that a Medicare Advantage plan can supplement your existing VA benefits (not TRICARE or CHAMPVA) and can help reduce gaps in your health care coverage. Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan may provide access to additional services and benefits, such as emergency care and dental coverage, which may not be covered by VA health care.
When considering your options, you may want to consider a Medicare Advantage plan designed for veterans. For example, the Humana Honor plans, which are available to anyone eligible for Medicare, may offer additional benefits such as dental care and a monthly premium of $ 0. While Humana Honor plans are designed with veterans in mind, Medicare-eligible veterans can choose from any Medicare Advantage plan in their region.
Another important factor to understand is how Medicare Advantage works with TRICARE and CHAMPVA. As veterans may know, TRICARE for Life coverage is generally “richer” than other types of coverage, so Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug plans are not recommended for veterans with TRICARE or CHAMPVA. Veterans with this type of coverage should carefully consider the impact of their Medicare Advantage membership on their coverage. If you have TRICARE for Life or CHAMPVA and decide to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, the Medicare Advantage plan will become your primary coverage and you will only be able to see providers in the Medicare Advantage plan network. Additionally, enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan would require Tricare for Life or CHAMPVA to be responsible for coordinating billing and claims information with their provider. Therefore, Medicare Advantage plans are not recommended for beneficiaries of TRICARE for Life or CHAMPVA and they can only consider enrolling in a Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug plan if they can coordinate billing and are not afraid to. be limited to a network of providers.
There are certainly benefits to receiving both Medicare Advantage and VA benefits, and Medicare-eligible veterans should consider all of their options to determine if a Medicare Advantage plan would meet their needs and, if so, choose from among many options. any Medicare Advantage plan in their area.
For more information, eligible people can go to www.Medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227).
Mathis is a veteran chain executive at Humana Humana.