VA Benefits without Medicare After Age 65
Question: I am a veteran about to turn 65. I am on Social Security and make 780.00 a month. I go to the VA for medical. Am I required to sign up for Medicare or can I just use the VA?
Answer: You may continue to just use the VA. You are not required to sign up for Medicare, BUT… You will receive Medicare Part A premium free, so long as you have earned enough work credits, and because you are receiving Social Security, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B. You may contact Social Security and decline Medicare Part B. If you choose to do this, should you ever decide you want or need Part B, you may only apply during general enrollment, January through March of each year, and Part B will not begin until July of that year. You will also be assessed a premium penalty based on the length of time you have gone without Part B coverage.
While you don’t have to, I advise you to, enroll in Medicare Part B. There is a very good possibility, based on your income, that you would qualify for extra help through Social Security paying your Part B premium. Whatever you decide, you will need to contact Social Security – 1-800-772-1213. Here is a link to a Medicare Publication about who pays first when you have other health insurance and Medicare http://www.medicare.gov/publications/pubs/pdf/02179.pdf