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Old 03-21-2014, 09:42 PM   #1
Neil.M
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Medicare Part B and the VA

Got my notice while wintering in AZ that my Medicare kicks in in July and if I want Part B, just stick the card in my wallet, but if I don't want Part B to sign and return the paperwork. Now the question. I am 100% service connected disability through the VA. I received a letter from the VA telling me that the VA will pay for any emergency, even if out of the country, at any medical facility if no VA facility is available. I question if I need Part B or not. I did a search asking and found much on the subject with different opinions. Several say they don't buy Part B and have had no issues having the VA pay the bills in an emergency. Others say it is a battle getting the VA to agree that the treatment was an emergency. Any of you service connected Vets have any guidance for me? Any experiences, bad or good, with the VA paying the bills? The 100+ taken out for Part B won't break me, but I don't want to buy it if I don't need it. Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 03-22-2014, 04:06 AM   #2
K0LCB
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Neil, did you apply for Social Security disability? They used to include part B
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Old 03-22-2014, 04:15 AM   #3
pineranch
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Neil,
You have many variables connected to your question. Perhaps it would be best to sit down with a VA service councilor (VFW, LEGION, DAV). You may find the VA will only treat your service connected disability in any situation.
Mike
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:53 AM   #4
Rondo
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Neil-- I think Mike has the right answer for you. If you can talk to one of the VA counselors you can find out exactly what you are qualify for with the VA. I've got Part B under SS but I also have my other medical coverage for the coverage on the DW. When she becomes the "golden age" we'll be looking at changing or dropping our policy and saving some money but until then we have to have the second coverage. I don't know how you two are covered presently but you might consider that also.
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Old 03-22-2014, 04:39 PM   #5
Drifty1
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Neil, can you get the part b for now and watch how the they COB the bills. Then a year from now drop the part b if you can see that it does not make any difference...
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Old 03-22-2014, 04:45 PM   #6
Neil.M
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I know what I qualify for under VA. As 100% service connected all medical, dental, eye and meds are provided for me at the VA. On talking with my VFW VA counselor was told they could not recommend anything about SS and on calling the SS office was told they could not recommend anything concerning VA. Kind of a catch 22. I was just hoping someone here on the forum had experience with VA paying a civilian med facility and what their experience was. Claudia has Champ VA due to my rating but is required to have A & B in order to keep the Champ VA in effect. Champ VA is a policy that allows Claudia to receive her medical anywhere but if she uses a VA her co-pay is waived. Drifty1-this is all new to me, can you drop Part B later? Never thought about that-best advice so far. Thanks.
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Old 03-22-2014, 04:52 PM   #7
K0LCB
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Neil, I sent you a pm.
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:17 AM   #8
mazboy
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DO BUY PART B! the VA does not automatically pay for your ER visit...many times they deny it and you have to appeal while the hospital is after you to pay the bill! I know personally since I am in the appeal process now.
Secondly, if you travel and you need medical care--NON emergency, don't expect to just walk into a VA clinic and get care...I know this from experience. and if you just go to the ER you will be denied payment from the VA.
The VA can't always respond to your medical issues quickly so as you get older you will probably need to go to private doctors.
And, lastly, the VA DOES NOT pay for ALL medical care outside of the USA. they will only pay for care for what you have a disability for. i.e. if you are rated for PTSD and go to a doctor in mexico for a broken bone, the VA will NOT pay.
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:46 PM   #9
Neil.M
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Thanks mazboy, I signed the card and put it in my wallet. I think the Part B will give me peace of mind.
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:46 AM   #10
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I am 100% Ser connected. I have part B. They ask for it at our VA Hospital .
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:37 AM   #11
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Neil I turn 65 this yr. and have been asking the same question. It's not clear at all what to do. I will do the plan F and that pays just about all your bills related to health care. If your a fulltimer like myself, you may not be even close to a VA for everyday care when you need it. When you are you have to register at every VA that you have never been to. Then you can maybe see the DR sometime that day. With the F plan it appears that I will be paying somewhere between $200-$300 a month for full coverage of medical. No one will give me an exact cost until 3 mos before I turn 65. Medicare is difficult for me to understand.

So far that's what I have come up with.

Dave
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:13 PM   #12
Neil.M
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Plan F ??? Now I more to research !!!
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Old 05-02-2014, 03:11 AM   #13
WeBeFulltime
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Can't speak about VA, but I am required by Tricare For Life to have Plan B to stay on Tricare as a retiree.
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:22 AM   #14
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I still can't believe that after what is going on in phoenix VA that a veteran would consider not having part B.

Medicare part B will pay, in part, what a private doctor will charge you when you go. The VA will not respond to the many issues you have out there as you get older. non emergency issues....foot problem? heart issue? skin issue? allergies? try to get into a specialist in a timely manner. it could be up to 3-5 months to see a specialist.
As for going to a non VA ER, it may or may not be paid by the VA.

And then there is the issue of being outside of your VA area....try getting into see a VA doctor outside of your area. You can easily get into an urgent care doctor quickly and medicare will pay much of the charge.

Take part B

Just take part B, it is only $100 a month.
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:55 AM   #15
DHenry
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I just signed up for Plan F at $115.00/month. Blue Shield of CA.
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:08 PM   #16
Neil.M
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Thanks everyone for the input. I am keeping Part B and researching "F". With all my issues "F" is starting to look pretty good also.
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:44 PM   #17
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Neil, I got "G" because I figure the "G" meant GOOD
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