I’m 80% covered with the VA for Service connected disability. I also have part B Medicare. Should I have part A also? I’m 66 years old.


Jim's Reply:

I'm going to guess that you have Part A and you're asking if you need Part B? Part A is required if and when you receive either SSDI or retirement benefits while Part B is elective and costs extra.

If you like your VA health care and don't think you'll ever need any other care, you can decline Part B and save a buck or two. However, should you change your mind down the road you'll pay a penalty and a higher price for coverage.

I see health insurance as a process each vet must think through for their own situation. I use both VA care and Part B and I use B a lot. My civilian care under Part B is very affordable and oh so convenient. To access VA care I can drive between one to three hours or I can access civilian care in 5 minutes. Part B Co-pays are affordable and there are so many procedures done closer to home that in my estimation it's worth the few dollars it costs.

As you get older that little extra insurance may come in handy. Good luck.