If you opt for the TRICARE benefits via the Department of Veterans Affairs Facility, then you will have to pay an additional charge to the VA. This is especially for non-service connected ailments and disorders. Generally veterans are advised to use this channel only if they are seeking assistance for the service-connected disabilities or illnesses through a Veterans Affairs Facility. If you are a higher priority veteran, there is no need to worry because this rule does not apply in that case. Also, veterans who are considered to have 10-40% of disability will always receive free care for any condition. Those veterans are only required to pay a co-payment of $8 when obtaining outpatient medication for the non-service connected conditions. There is an exception for veterans who have service connected ratings of 50% or higher disability because they are not required to make any care payments to the VA.
To obtain more information on how to enroll for medical care among other valuable information, you can look online at www.ssa.gov or you can call the toll free number 800-772-1213. You may also log into www.medicare.gov.
Information about Medicare Part B
Your medical benefits are prone to change once you are 65 years old and the good news is that you will be able to obtain a notification via the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) 90 days prior to your birthday. After that, you will be required to contact any Medicare Office or Social Security office within your area in order to acquire information regarding your eligibility. You only become eligible then for TRICARE for Life and when you are enrolled in Medicare Part B. The significance of having TRICARE for Life is that any health care costs that exceed the Medicare coverage is usually paid once you are 65 years years old.
If you have already reached 65 years old and you do not have part Medicare Part B, you can just sign up for it during the enrollment period that is usually open from January 1 to March 31. This coverage is always available to you once you are enrolled and you will start receiving it on the first day of the month of July upon enrolling.
Keep in mind that you have to enroll to Medicare B even if you are entitled to Medicare A because it is an assurance that you will be able to obtain TRICARE for Life benefit coverage. Why should you be part of TRICARE? TRICARE now recognizes all providers who offer medical care and are in a position to accept TRICARE Medicare but you have to ensure that the provider is authorized; if the provider is not authorized, TRICARE will automatically decline any claims.
TRICARE for Life Overseas
If you are enrolled in Medicare B and you live overseas, you are allowed to use the TRICARE for Life program. Most health care coverage is not provided to people living overseas, therefore, TRICARE will only provide standard benefits. This is available to retirees who are under the age of 65 years old and note that you will be required to pay for copayments and other deductibles.