Selecting the Medicare plan best suited for your individual health needs is important for all eligible beneficiaries to consider at this time of year as the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Annual Election Period (AEP) runs from October 15 through December 7.
However, for Veterans who have the option to select a Medicare Advantage plan that can complement their Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, it’s critical to keep some key factors top of mind as you research plan options, including:
Understand how Medicare Advantage works with VA benefits: A Medicare Advantage plan may complement your existing VA benefits and help reduce gaps in your healthcare coverage. Additionally, enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan may provide access to additional services and benefits, such as urgent care and dental coverage — which may not be covered by VA health care. For example, Humana Honor Medicare Advantage plans are available to anyone eligible for Medicare, may complement VA benefits and may provide beneficiaries with additional benefits, such as robust dental care and $0 monthly plan premiums. Although Humana Honor plans are designed with veterans in mind, Medicare-eligible veterans can select from any Medicare Advantage plan in their area.
Understand how Medicare Advantage works with TRICARE and/or CHAMPVA: Benefits with TRICARE for Life are generally “richer” than most other types of coverage available, so veterans with this type of coverage should carefully consider how their coverage would be impacted by enrollment in Medicare Advantage. If you have TRICARE for Life or CHAMPVA, and decide to enroll in a MA plan, the MA plan will become your primary coverage, and you would only be able to see providers that are in-network for that MA plan. TRICARE for Life or CHAMPVA beneficiaries may only want to consider enrolling in a MA or MAPD plan if they can coordinate billing and do not mind being limited to a network of providers.
Know the process for prescription drug coverage: When you add a Medicare Advantage plan, your VA prescription drug coverage would continue to cover prescriptions written or approved by a VA doctor. However, a Medicare Advantage plan would cover certain Part B medications, such as injectable drugs and infusions, which could be beneficial based on your health needs. If you sign up for a plan with Medicare prescription drug coverage, certain medicines from non-VA doctors would be covered and it would allow you to fill your prescriptions at local network pharmacies instead of through the VA.
As you research health plan options, it’s important to turn to credible sources, such as Medicare, which will allow you to easily compare plans and estimate costs based on what a typical enrollee experiences. You can also enroll in online educational events or coordinate one-on-one meetings with licensed sales agents who can answer your questions and review 2022 Medicare Advantage plan options — from the convenience of your home. Additionally, you can learn about the reputable organizations that stand behind Medicare plans. For example, Humana Medicare Advantage plans — such as its Honor plan that’s designed with veterans in mind — are recommended by USAA, a company known for its customer satisfaction and commitment to the financial security of current and former members of the U.S. military.For more information, Medicare eligible individuals can visit Medicare or call 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, you can learn about Humana plans by going to Humana or calling 1-800-213-5286 (TTY: 711) to speak with a licensed sales agent from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week. Humana is a Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and PFFS organization and stand-alone prescription drug plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any Humana Medicare plan depends on contract renewal.