Woman in a military uniform and a man at a desk with a laptop and a cup with small American flags

Medicare Advantage For Veterans

You may not have considered Medicare Advantage coverage if you’re a veteran with Veterans Affairs (VA) or TRICARE health coverage. However, combining Medicare Advantage with your existing health coverage can offer many benefits. With the help of an independent health insurance agent, you can get the right coverage for your health care and budget. 

Our experienced local agents help North Carolina residents daily and specialize in assisting veterans with their health insurance needs.

HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Combining Medicare Advantage and Veterans Affairs coverage

To access any Medicare Advantage plan, enroll in Original Medicare. A Medicare Advantage plan includes the same basic coverage as Original Medicare but with additional benefits. Combining Medicare Advantage and VA can be beneficial for several reasons: 

  • Medicare Advantage plans can cover all your needs in one plan and offer coverage if you travel overseas

  • Medicare Advantage plans have an out-of-pocket cap on your care, unlike Original Medicare

  • When using VA facilities, you can often experience long wait times for care

  • Your eligibility for VA health coverage could change as it’s not guaranteed

Other Benefits of Medicare Advantage for Veterans

Depending on the plan you choose and where you live, Medicare Advantage plans can offer a range of additional benefits from what you can expect with Original Medicare, including:

  • Dental, vision, and hearing services

  • Coverage for over-the-counter drugs

  • Memberships in fitness clubs

  • Access to wellness and nutrition programs

  • Transport to and from doctor’s appointments

  • Adult day-care services

Enrolling in Medicare Advantage for Veterans

There are specific periods when you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. These include your Initial Coverage Election Period (your ICEP), the Annual Election Period (your AEP), and the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. There’s also a Special Election Period. 

Initial Coverage Election Period (ICEP)

This period covers seven months, and it’s your first opportunity to choose a Medicare health plan. Your ICEP begins three months before the month you turn 65 and finishes three months after your birthday month. If you’re under 65 and are receiving Social Security disability payments, your eligibility is slightly different. You will be eligible for Medicare in the 25th month after receiving your first Social Security benefit payment. 

Annual Election Period (AEP)

This election period begins on October 15 and lasts until December 7 each year. Your chosen coverage will then start in January following the AEP. During your AEP, you can change your coverage, switch providers, or reduce your current coverage. 

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

The period runs from January 1 to March 31. If you already have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can switch to another plan, change your health plan, or cancel your coverage and return to your Original Medicare plan.

Special Election Period (SEP)

A unique life event typically triggers a Special Enrollment Period. This two-month period means you can adjust your existing coverage because of changes in your circumstances. These may include moving to a different state or losing coverage through an employer. During your SEP, you can switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan or return to your Original Medicare without facing any fees or penalties.

Several unique life events trigger your SEP, so contact one of our North Carolina Medicare agents today to learn more.

Veterans Medicare Advantage questions?

If you’ve questions about Medicare Advantage plans for veterans or want to discuss Medicare Advantage and veterans benefits, contact Health Plans of NC today. Our dedicated and local Medicare agents in NC offer independent advice to North Carolina residents and can ensure you’ve got the right coverage for your health needs. 

Ready to get started?

See plans and pricing today.