Many of the Veterans I work with go the VA for all of their care and really don’t understand how Medicare works with the VA. Often times the advice they receive from the VA about Medicare is inaccurate.

It’s important to know that the VA and Medicare are completely separate. They have nothing to do with one another. Benefits from one do not effect the other.

Additionally you should not turn down coverage under Medicare, like Part B or HMO or PPO coverage just because you go the VA. You can use both as YOU see fit.

It’s also important to know that if you turn Part B, and decide to pick it back up at a later date, you can only reapply for Part B between January 1 and March 31st of each year, and Part B will not start until July 1st of that year. Additionally, Medicare will impose a 10% penalty for each year you missed. That penalty will stay with you for the rest of your life, or for as long as you have Part B.

According to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, you should not turn down coverage with Medicare just because you go to the VA. You can use both and it’s always in the Veteran’s best interests to have affordable options outside the VA for not only healthcare, but for prescription coverage, as well.