If you’re a veteran, there are several unique Medicare Advantage plans worth consideration. These policies will reinforce your coverage when receiving care outside of the VA.
Many policies also reduce your Part B premiums and increase your monthly Social Security checks.
You can enjoy added benefits like dental, vision & hearing coverage as well as free gym memberships.
Understanding Your Insurance Options
We know many veterans receive most of their care (and medications) through the Veterans Administration. They might not need to pay for any additional coverage like a Medicare Supplement or Part D drug plan.
But you may want options if you do need care outside of the VA. And if you have Medicare alone, then your out-of-pocket exposure is significant. That’s where Medicare Advantage plans can help. They reduce your exposure while giving you access to other health care professionals.
These veteran-specific plans will have names like Honor, Patriot and Eagle. They are mostly offered by major insurance companies like Aetna, Humana, United Healthcare and Wellcare to name a few.
How Much Are The Monthly Premiums?
Here’s the good news: There are several Medicare Advantage policies designed for veterans with $0 monthly premiums. Advantage plans with no monthly premiums are abundant for all Medicare beneficiaries. These aren’t discount plans; they offer comprehensive coverage.
In other words, it’s not surprise to see $0 plans for veterans as well. Many of our clients choose Advantage coverage to keep their outlays low while shoring-up their out-of-pocket exposure for minor and major health events.
Taking Advantage Of The Part B Giveback
Not only are there no monthly premiums, many MA policies include the Medicare Part B Giveback benefit. This feature adds money back to your Social Security check each month.
Even if you have no intention of ever using the coverage, you can increase your Social Security deposits simply by enrolling. This is a great way to increase your monthly deposits from the government. Please be aware you have to be enrolled in Medicare Part B for this strategy to work.
Are There Any Risks To Adding An Advantage Plan?
Veteran focused Advantage plans are PPOs and HMOs. Outside of the VA, they become your primary coverage – not Original Medicare itself. This means you will need to see doctors and hospitals in your chosen plan’s network. The policy can pay less (or none at all) if you’re receiving care out of network.
Veteran Medicare Advantage plans do not usually include Prescription Part D Coverage. It’s assumed most veterans receive their prescriptions through the VA.
Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan will not disrupt your VA coverage. However, there are some limitations when using your Medicare Advantage plans outside of the VA. For most, there are more pros than cons when choosing to have an Advantage plan for secondary coverage.
What About Dental, Vision & Hearing Coverage?
Another valuable feature many Medicare Advantage plans offer is free ancillary coverage. It’s common to see dental, vision and hearing coverage included at no extra cost.
Dental, vision and hearing coverage is robust under many veteran oriented plans. Preventive, basic and major services are covered as well as eye exams, frames and lenses. Hearing benefits can include free exams and a significant allowance toward hearing aids. Many policies offer you a couple thousand dollars or more in combined benefits for all three.
Other ancillary benefits like free gym memberships (Silver Sneakers), quarterly over-the counter allowances, telehealth, meals during recovery, acupuncture, smoking cessation help, and chiropractic services are common as well.
You may never need to use the medical insurance, but the ancillary benefits add significant value.
Contact Us To Learn More
If you’re new to Medicare or searching for options during Open Enrollment, we can help. There are several veteran-specific Medicare Advantage plans in most areas of the country.
These plans can reduce your out-of-pocket exposure outside of the VA while adding valuable ancillary benefits like dental, vision and hearing. Increasing your Social Security take home pay through the Part B Giveback provision is helpful as well.