By AMAC Licensed Social Security Advisor Russell Gloor, Affiliation of Mature American Residents
Pricey Rusty: I’m a 74 yr outdated veteran enrolled with the VA. I’ve by no means had Medicare Half B. Ought to I? My solely supply of earnings is Social Security. Signed: Retired Veteran
Pricey Retired Veteran: First, thanks in your service to our nation. Such as you, I take advantage of the VA for sure healthcare wants however, in contrast to you, I’m additionally enrolled in Medicare Half B. The choice on whether or not to have each is a private selection solely you may make, however I’ll offer you some issues to think about:
In case you are 100% glad together with your VA protection, and if that protection is conveniently obtainable to you, and if the VA supplies all of the well being care you’ll ever want wherever you occur to be, then enrolling in Medicare Half B will not be wanted in your private scenario. For me, the closest full service VA facility is about 40 miles away, whereas nearly each possible non-public healthcare service is close by. Thus, for comfort causes, I’m enrolled in Half B so I can use any physician or medical service supplier I would like inside only a few miles of my residence. I additionally journey a good quantity, and I just like the comfort and suppleness of utilizing any healthcare supplier I occur to be close to, with out worrying about discovering a VA facility or VA-affiliated non-public supplier. So, for me, all of it comes all the way down to comfort and suppleness to make use of any healthcare supplier I would like. I take advantage of my VA protection when it’s handy for me, however in any other case use non-VA suppliers. However your wants could also be totally different.
Your selection could particularly be totally different since your solely supply of earnings is Social Security. There’s a premium related to Medicare Half B ($170.10 per 30 days for 2022) which might be taken out of your Social Security fee, thus lowering it. That will create a monetary challenge for you, which is clearly an essential consideration when deciding if you happen to must also enroll in Half B to complement your VA protection. However there’s yet one more concern if you happen to enroll in Half B now.
Because you’re 74 and have relied solely on the VA in your healthcare wants since turning 65, you’ll be topic to a Late Enrollment Penalty if you happen to enroll in Half B now, and that penalty could make Half B much more unaffordable for you. Your VA well being care protection isn’t thought of a “creditable” different to Half B, which implies that a Late Enrollment Penalty of 10% further premium will probably be assessed for every full yr you went with out Half B protection. For instance, as an alternative of the usual Half B premium of $170.10, your premium with the late enrollment penalty may very well be about $323 per 30 days. And, sadly, that penalty lasts for so long as you might be enrolled in Half B and can enhance together with any will increase to the Half B premium as time passes.
To your consciousness, if Social Security is your solely supply of earnings, it’s possible you’ll be eligible in your state’s Medicare Financial savings Program which might help you with paying Medicare premiums and copayments. In case your earnings falls beneath the required thresholds it’s possible you’ll be eligible for the Medicare Financial savings Program as described at this web site: www.advantages.gov/profit/4396.
Lastly, the AMAC Basis has a repository of useful data for America’s veterans, which you’ll be able to browse at this hyperlink: www.amacfoundation.org/veteran-resources/.
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