The Veterans Administration is a great resource for our retired veterans, but is it enough to offer full coverage for all their benefits or are there some gaps in the coverage you may need?
In Cleveland and the surrounding suburbs, we are blessed to have great services offered. As long as you registered with the VA prior to 2003 or performed in the service during wartime you are entitled to medical and prescription benefits through your local administration.
If you were enlisted outside of wartime and did not register for benefits prior to 2003, however securing coverage may not be available. In 2003 the VA lost much of their funding because vets had failed to register so the perceived need was not recognized. If you have ever intended to use their facilities, be sure to inquire about their availability before you need apply.
If you are a wartime veteran or are already registered, they are a great resource with excellent doctors as well as a phenomenal source of prescription drug coverage. There are a few drawbacks to any system and the wait times may be longer to see or schedule doctor visits and the prescriptions are generic. Since the VA is a federal plan, it is primary and Medicare does not apply.
If you have Part A and are paying for Part B under Medicare, supplemental coverage also offers protection outside the VA in the event you need an ambulance, are taken to a hospital which is not affiliated, wish to procure an outside physician and assists in the copayments for your medical services within the system. If you need a prescription drug which is not generic you may also want to explore the cost of an independent drug plan as well.
Bottom line, as in any plan, the more informed you are of your coverage and any gaps it elicits and the more proactive you are in your health care, the more control you have over your individual costs. Please don't hesitate to call if you have any questions or concerns.