Americans have faced many important decisions this year, with more on the horizon. As we look to overcome the challenges of the pandemic, we can use the knowledge we’ve gained to plan for our future. This season presents an opportunity for individuals age 65 and up and those living with disabilities to make a careful, informed choice about health care by selecting a Medicare Advantage plan that will serve your physical, emotional and social health needs next year.
For veterans, in particular, there may be confusion about how Medicare and Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits differ, and what makes sense for you. Here are two key factors to consider as you work to select a plan before the Dec. 7 deadline, the end of the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Annual Enrollment Period:
- Medicare Advantage and VA benefits: A Medicare Advantage plan may complement your existing VA benefits and help reduce gaps in your health care coverage. Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan may provide access to additional services and benefits, like urgent care and dental coverage that 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 provide beneficiaries with additional benefits, like robust dental care and $0 plan premiums. In addition, these plans are recommended by USAA.
- Prescription drug coverage: When you add a Medicare 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, like injectable drugs and infusions, which may be beneficial based on your health needs. If you sign up for a plan with Medicare prescription drug coverage, it would cover certain medicines from non-VA doctors and allow you to fill your prescriptions at local network pharmacies instead of through the VA.
There are several advantages to having both Medicare Advantage and VA benefits, so be sure to leverage available resources — such as virtual education events and one-on-one virtual meetings with licensed sales agents — to learn safely during this COVID-19 pandemic. You can visit www.Medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Beneficiaries also can visit www.Humana.com/Medicare to learn about Humana plans or call 1-800-213-5286 (TTY: 711).
Aaron McCoy is veterans channel executive for Humana, which is a Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO organization with a Medicare contract.