Medicare And Military Health Care

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Gray Easterling
Gray Easterling

Since Alexandria has historically had a prominent military presence, I thought I would try and summarize an article from the June 13 Investment News publication. It discusses the interaction of health coverage for active duty personnel, TRICARE for Life for retired military and spouses, and veteran’s health benefits. While on active duty, most service personnel are covered by a variety of military health plan options. When you become Medicare eligible, as long as you are on active duty, you do not have to enroll in Medicare, part B, because, just as in the civilian world, you will be eligible for a “Special Enrollment Period” when you leave active duty. As you approach your retirement date, and are Medicare eligible, be aware that you have to enroll in both Medicare Part A and B to avoid a lack of coverage. Because of the special enrollment period, you can enroll in Part B if you are 65 or older, or disabled. If you retire and are under the age of 65, you and your family are eligible for TRICARE health coverage.

 

When you reach the age of 65, your coverage changes to a mix of TRICARE for Life and Medicare. Medicare pays first for Medicare-covered services; TRICARE for Life pays the Medicare deductible and coinsurance amounts plus any services not covered by Medicare, according to the author. TRICARE for Life serves as a Medicare supplement, so a Medigap plan or Medicare Advantage plan should not be needed. Another advantage to the TRICARE coverage is that it covers international health care services. For more information, go to Tricare.mil. If you are a veteran, but do not qualify for the TRICARE coverage, you can consider applying for VA benefits, if you meet certain criteria. Assuming you qualify, you can receive a major portion of health services through the VA, using a Medicare Advantage with a Part D coverage for care outside the VA system. If you have questions for the VA, try VA.gov or call (800) 827-1000. Despite the negative coverage in the media over the last few years, you may find that the VA system can fill major gaps in your coverage.

 

With all that is going on in this country lately, I thought this commentary from the Forward publication for June might be helpful. From Galatians 5: “By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” “The life of the flesh is complicated. The many layers of fear, anger and pride feel heavy and overwhelm the soul. But the life of the Spirit has a light texture and feels so simple: gentle acts of kindness done for their own sake, or the basic act of sitting on a creek bank listening to the water tumble, gurgle and play. Something about this simplicity just clicks. This is what the life of the Spirit—the inner life—is all about.” Finally, from the singer, Meatloaf, “No matter what they tell you, no matter what they do, no matter what they teach you, what you believe is true. And I will keep you safe and strong, an sheltered from the storm.”

 

Although this information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, it cannot be guaranteed.  This material is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized tax, legal or investment advice.  FSC Securities Corporation does not offer tax or legal advice.  The views expressed are not necessarily the opinion of FSC Securities Corporation.  Financial Solutions Group is a marketing name.  Financial Solutions Group is located at 128 Versailles Blvd, Alexandria, LA  71301.  We can be reached at (318) 448-3201. Securities, insurance and advisory services offered through FSC Securities Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC.