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Old 10-03-2020, 11:31 AM   #15
I love it when a plan comes together.
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 9,793
Originally Posted by zippyt View Post
it is done converting over to va for health care
A few tips:

Should you go back to work in another field and medical benefits are offered, take them if you don't have them elsewhere (like through a working spouse). You're only guaranteed VA coverage for service connected medical issues. The VA currently offers veterans coverage, often with a small copay, for non-service connected medical issues; but, that's dependent on continued funding and could disappear at anytime with budget cuts. Same goes for enrolling in Medicare as soon as you're eligible.

Now that you're enrolled at the VA, get an annual physical there even if you do get other medical coverage. There're some perks that are lost if you don't see a VA provider for over 2 years. For example: VA pharmacy service is considered continuing "credible drug coverage" [at least as good as commercial plans] for the purpose of transferring to commercial drug coverage insurance plans without exclusions; but, only if you've seen a VA provider in the past 2 years.

While VA medical coverage does meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), it is NOT considered continuing "credible medical coverage" for commercial medical insurance applications. The VA's dependence on annual funding for non-service connected medical care precludes that. If you're offered medical insurance elsewhere, take it during the initial open enrollment period; or, you may have to wait another year for the next open enrollment period since it won't be a qualified transfer of coverage from the VA.

I became eligible for Medicare this year and have been navigating the commercial insurance/Medicare insurance/VA coverage jungle. These are a few of the easily missed waypoints.
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