Medicare and Veterans Medical Benefits: Which One Can I Use?

Question:

Can I use both Veterans medical benefits and Medicare?

Answer:

Many people with Medicare are also eligible for some Veterans medical benefits. If so, you may have a choice about which system covers a particular medical treatment or service. But the Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) and Medicare won't both pay for the same treatment -- it's one or the other.

You might be able to receive a specific medical treatment through the V.A. system, which means the V.A. pays for it. This could include healthcare-related services that Medicare doesn't cover, such as physical exams and other preventive care, dental care, and long-term in-home and nursing home care. Also, V.A. co-payments are generally lower than Medicare's, including for prescription drugs.

Or you can receive treatment outside the V.A. system and have Medicare cover it. If you are treated outside the V.A. system, the V.A. will not pay any part of the bills that Medicare doesn't pay. To get more details about how coverage works when you have both Medicare and V.A. benefits, download Medicare's booklet Medicare and Other Health Benefits: Your Guide to Who Pays First.


Joseph L. Matthews

Joseph Matthews is an attorney and the author of numerous books, including Social Security, Medicare, and Government Pensions, Long-Term Care: How to Plan and Pay for It; How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim; and The Lawyer Who Blew up His Desk. See full bio