What insurance other than Medicare A & B do I need? I currently use the VA medical systems. - AgingCare.com

What insurance other than Medicare A & B do I need? I currently use the VA medical systems.


I am retiring at the end of the year, I will be on Medicare A & B, I will not take "D" coverage, since I get my meds from the VA. I also see the VA doctors for my care.
Should I get a Medicare "Gap" insurance? VA doctors are not in the "perferred" list of doctors in many of the plans, so what kind of GAP insurance should I get if any?
If I do not get any GAP insurance I will only have co pays to pay to the VA correct?

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You definitely need to speak with a VA advocate that can look at your situation and assist you in evaluating what benefits you may be eligible for - particularly if you or your spouse may need home care in the future through aid & attendance
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There was a time when I would have completely agreed with you terrimerritts. Now I have to say that every VA hospital/clinic is different, and the truth is, there are good and bad doctors Everywhere you go.

I've seen a LOT of improvement at the San Diego VA in the last 30 years. I have had an EXCELLENT psychiatrist for the last 20 years, a FANTASTIC group of psychologists, and my current Primary Care Physician is also a cardiologist who is absolutely wonderful. I've had GREAT Gyn care in the women's clinic with the same Nurse Practitioner for over a decade. The dental clinic is TERRIFIC, I only wish they offered nitrous because I am dental phobic, but they are very kind, gentle, understanding, and supportive when I do go in.

Some clinics do take a while to get an appointment; neurology is one, especially with the influx of veterans from the Gulf War and the two current wars. IEDS are producing many TBIs and these men and women truly need neuro services pronto.

Some people do need to drive far to use VA facilities, that's a fact. I'm not sure if you need to be service connected or not, but if your income meets requirements you can be reimbursed for travel; the current rate is .41 cents per mile round trip. It's not a lot of money, but it does help; check with "Travel". I live 31 to 36 miles away from the two clinics I use and I am reimbursed approximately $25 to $31 per trip minus $6 for each of the first three trips in thirty days because I am over income. VA Travel will also give bus tokens, pay for some flights, airport shuttles, and taxis.
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I have seen relatives and friends get terrible care and have a lot of delays and have to do a lot of driving to use VA benefits. To them it was not worth it. You get Part A Medicare for free but part B costs nearly $100 a month. Yes, you will want a supplement. Here is why. There is a lot Medicare does not even cover. On top of that, there is a deductible before Medicare even kicks in each year which your supplement will pay. Then there is this- Medicare will decide what they think a procedure is worth and pay 80% of it. The supplement will pay the other 20%. YOU pay anything in excess. For example, let's say that you have a $20,000 hospital bill from an emergency surgery. Medicare says it was worth $10,000. They pay $8,000 and your supplement pays $2,000. Guess who gets to pay the other $10,000? You do. If, on the other hand, you find providers who accept Medicare in full, you will not pay anything extra. You will want to check all of the options in your area as many supplements charge you nothing at all! Also, your state can help you pay for a supplement and if you can get Medicaid, you will pay nothing.
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Are you a service connected Veteran? At what percentage? Do you intend to use the VA for all of your medical needs?

I do know that even as a 100% connected Veteran that if anything happens to me and I need to go to the closest ER, that the VA will cover me only partly. They cover less than $100 of any ambulance trip if that becomes necessary. My dental needs are covered, but if you are less than 100%, you have no dental with the VA at all. You can get eye exams at the VA, but you have to reach a certain percentage of service connection before they will give you glasses, otherwise you will have to take your eyeglass prescription elsewhere to be filled.

So if you look for something, you'll want it to cover all of those. If you are hooked into the VA system you might have received a handbook telling you what your exact coverage is. Before you buy anything, talk with someone at the VA.

Want to know something bizarre? My husband is a civilian, never served, but because of his connection to me between his tri-care and his medicare he is 100% covered for EVERYTHING except medication. (I do pay for his part D) Tell me that doesn't stink. I don't know though, maybe when I am old enough to get social security I will be completely covered, (he is disabled and collects social security). That's why I am strongly suggesting that you speak with someone at the VA before you shell out any money for extra coverage.
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