You can be enrolled in benefits through Veterans Affairs (VA) and Medicare at the same time. Having both gives you more options for care, as well as the flexibility and freedom to choose providers within the VA or with a non-VA provider in your Medicare network. Plus, Medicare Advantage plans can come with extra benefits that most veterans don’t receive through the VA, such as over-the-counter allowances and transportation benefits.
Although you can have benefits through Veterans Affairs (VA) and Medicare, you’ll need to choose which benefits you want to use when receiving care:
What Medicare does and doesn’t cover will depend on your plan, where you’re receiving care, and which benefits you plan to use — if you can use both.
As a veteran, your coverage under TRICARE ends once you become eligible for Medicare. That means you’ll need to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B during your Initial Enrollment Period to avoid any lapse in TRICARE coverage. When you enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, TRICARE will automatically switch to TRICARE For Life (TFL). TFL acts as supplemental coverage for your Medicare plan. That means Medicare is your primary payer and covers what it owes on your bill first, while TFL reduces or eliminates out-of-pocket costs for deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.
When you have Medicare and TRICARE For Life, you can visit any authorized provider. Here’s how the two work together to pay your health care costs:
TRICARE For Life will pay its portion directly to the provider for the services TRICARE covers.
Highmark is offering new $0 Medicare Advantage health insurance for veterans — our Freedom Blue PPO Valor plan. It’s a great option for veterans who want to add coverage to the care they already receive through Veterans Affairs (VA). And it comes with a lot of additional benefits, like:
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Highmark Choice Company, Highmark Senior Health Company, and Highmark Senior Solutions Company are Medicare Advantage plans with a Medicare contract. HM Health Insurance Company is a PDP plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Highmark Choice Company, Highmark Senior Health Company, Highmark Senior Solutions Company, and HM Health Insurance Company depends on contract renewal.
Health benefits or health benefit administration may be provided by or through Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Highmark Choice Company, Highmark Senior Health Company, Highmark Senior Solutions Company, or Highmark Health Insurance Company, all of which are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. All references to “Highmark” in this document are references to the Highmark company that is providing the member’s health benefits or health benefit administration.