This spring I received calls for help from several veterans who were paying a monthly premium to be enrolled in a MAPD, a Medicare Advantage with Prescription Drug Plan.
These veterans are not eligible for CHAMP or TRICARE, are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B and pay the Part B premium. Since these veterans have their prescription medications filled through their VA (Veterans Affairs) benefit, they meet the Medicare Part D “creditable drug coverage” requirement.
These vets correctly realized some portion of the MAPD monthly premium was for Part D drug coverage which they didn’t use and didn’t need. And so they asked me if it is possible to drop the drug coverage and reduce the premium.
While it was not possible to drop drug coverage from their prior Medicare Advantage plan, I was able to identify some MA-Only plans available in their community. A MA-Only plan includes similar health benefits (doctor, specialist, hospitalization, tests, etc) but without the Prescription Drug part. And, the MA-Only plans the veterans selected included access to a nearby fitness center, some preventative dental benefit as well as a monthly credit toward over the counter (OTC) healthcare items.
And, as requested, their monthly premium was substantially reduced.
Q: Can I enroll in a MA-Only plan now or do I have to wait until January 1?
A: There is a Special Enrollment Period for Veterans. Normally, Medicare beneficiaries who choose to change their Part C or Part D plans must wait until the Annual Enrollment Period which begins October 15 for a January 1 effective date. However, veterans with VA drug benefits have a Special Enrollment Period which means veterans do not have to wait. That is how I have been able to assist these veterans mid year.
Many veterans are not aware of this MA-Only and Special Enrollment Period option. Please share this information with a family member, friend or neighbor who may be both Medicare-eligible and VA-eligible.
For specific details on the MA-Only plans in your area, please contact Dan by phone or email or simply schedule a no-obligation telephone consultation choosing an available date and time most convenient for you: