VETERANS & MEDICARE.

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Topics covered in this section…

♦ Enrolling in Medicare

♦ VA Medical Benefits Package

♦ How to Apply

♦ Local Veterans Centers

♦ What is TRICARE?

♦ What is CHAMPVA?



Enrolling in Medicare

If you are a veteran 65 years or older and are receiving Social Security retirement benefits, you are automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, or Original Medicare. If you are a veteran younger than 65 years old and eligible for Social Security disability benefits, you are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B when you qualify for Social Security disability benefits. a veteran is not automatically enrolled but is eligible for Medicare, he or she may enroll in Medicare Parts A and B through the Social Security Administration, 1-800-772-1213 or online at ssa.gov.




VA Medical Benefits Package

A person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable may qualify for VA health care benefits. Reservists and National Guard members may also qualify for VA health care benefits if they were called to active duty (other than for training only) by a Federal order and completed the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty.

Minimum Duty Requirements: Veterans who enlisted after Sept. 7, 1980, or who entered active duty after Oct. 16, 1981, must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which they were called to active duty in order to be eligible. This minimum duty requirement may not apply to veterans discharged for hardship, early out or a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.

The VA determines if an applicant is eligible based on a number of variables, including length of service, VA adjudicated disabilities (commonly referred to as service-connected disabilities), income level, and available VA resources. If the VA determines that an applicant is eligible, it will assign the veteran to 1 of 8 priority groups. Veterans in Group 1 get the highest priority and veterans in Group 8 get the lowest priority.




How to Apply

If you are a veteran and would like to apply for VA Health Benefits, complete VA Form 10-10EZ, which can be obtained from any VA health care facility, regional benefits office, online at www.va.gov or by calling 1-877- 222-VETS (8387). The VA does not require veterans to have other health coverage. The VA however does encourage veterans to have other coverage, especially if they are eligible for programs such as Medicare or Medi-Cal (Medicaid). This is because VA health benefits are established by federal law and regulations and funded through appropriations, thus funding for VA benefits is unpredictable. Funds can change yearly depending upon how much funding Congress approves for VA benefits in a given year. Enrolling in other health coverage does not interfere with receiving VA health benefits.

for more detailed information on Medicare and Veterans




Local Veterans Centers:


BUTTE COUNTY
VA Clinic & VA Vet Center
280 Cohasset Road
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 899-8549

Butte County Veterans Service Office
196 Memorial Way Suite 5
Chico CA 95926
Phone (530) 891-2759
Fax (530) 895-6508
Monday-Thursday Walk-In 9:00 a.m. to noon
By Appointment 1:00-4:00 p.m.

for County Veterans Services Office

PLUMAS COUNTY
VA Medical Care: Every veteran with an honorable discharge is eligible for some type of VA healthcare benefits, depending on certain criteria, such as service-connected disability and income. The VA Medical Center in Reno and VA clinics in Redding, Chico and Susanville proudly serve the veterans of Plumas County. See above for location information.

Veterans Service Office
270 County Hospital Rd. Suite 206
Quincy, CA 95971
(530) 283-6275
(800) 219-5295

Susanville (Lassen County)
110 Bella Way, Susanville, CA – 96130
(530) 251-4550

Reno, Nevada
5580 Mill St. Suite 600
Reno, NV 89502
(775) 323-1294


GLENN COUNTY
Glenn County Veterans Service Office
431 West Sycamore
Willows, CA
(530) 934-6524

The Glenn County Veteran Service Officer, Norm Herring, is the liaison between the Veteran and the Veterans Administration with matters such as home loans, pension and medical, burial benefits and more. Norm is also your contact for Service Connected Disability information and he can help you with many other Veteran issues. Call for more information

COLUSA COUNTY
Carol S. Pearson
Assistant Veterans Services Officer
901 Parkhill St.
Colusa, CA 95932
Ph: (530) 458-0494
Fx: (530) 458-0494
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

The County Veterans Service Department is an office established by the Board of Supervisors to assist veterans, their dependants, and their survivors in obtaining benefits from federal, state, and local agencies administering programs for veterans.


TEHAMA COUNTY
Veterans Service Office
633 Washington Street, Room 15
P.O. Box 729
Red Bluff, CA 96080
(530) 529-3664
Fax: (530) 529-7933

email: Bill Johnson at bjohnson@tehamaso.org Hours of Operation: 12:00 Noon to 4:00 PM Monday through Thursday Outreach on Friday Mornings at the Corning Veterans Memorial Hall


Other Resources
VA Benefits: www.va.gov
California Veterans Benefits: CDVA.ca.gov




What is TRICARE?

TRICARE is the health care program serving active duty service members, National Guard and Reserve members, retirees, their families, survivors and certain former spouses worldwide.


How do I find out if I am eligible for TRICARE benefits?
You must be registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) to qualify for TRICARE. To find out if you are registered or are eligible to register in DEERS, call 1-800-538-9552 or visit www.tricare.mil/DEERS.


What is TRICARE For Life (TFL)?
TRICARE For Life (TFL) is TRICARE’s Medicare-wraparound coverage available to all Medicare-eligible TRICARE beneficiaries, regardless of age, provided they have Medicare Parts A and B.


What does TRICARE For Life (TFL) cover?
TRICARE For Life acts as a secondary payer to Medicare, minimizing beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket expenses. TRICARE benefits also cover Medicare’s coinsurance and deductible as well as prescription drugs. If you have TRICARE For Life (TFL), you do not need to enroll in Medicare Part D prescription coverage since TRICARE’s prescription benefits exceed those of Part D.

For more information, contact TRICARE For Life at 1-866-773-0404 or www.tricare4u.com


As a TRICARE For Life (TFL) member, do I have to enroll in Medicare Part B?
All Tricare members who are eligible for Medicare must enroll in Part A. There are three exceptions, however, to Medicare Part B enrollment:

♦ Active duty sponsor

♦ Currently enrolled in the U.S. Family Health Plan (USFHP)

♦ Enrolled in a qualified Tricare Reserve Select Plan (TRS) for the National Guard and Reserves

For more information, contact TRICARE For Life at 1-866-773-0404 or www.tricare4u.com


What are the costs of TRICARE For Life (TFL)?
Medicare beneficiaries who also have TRICARE For Life must pay their Part B premiums and prescription drug copayments. There are no additional premiums.


What is CHAMPUS?
CHAMPUS (Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services) was a health care program of the United States Department of Defense Military Health System that provided civilian health benefits for military personnel, military retirees, and their dependents. This program has been revamped and is now called TRICARE, though it is still widely known by its former name.




What is CHAMPVA?

The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) is a comprehensive health care program in which the VA shares the cost of covered health care services and supplies with eligible beneficiaries. The program is administered by Health Administration Center and our offices are located in Denver, Colorado.

Due to the similarity between CHAMPVA and the Department of Defense (DoD) TRICARE program (sometimes referred to by its old name, CHAMPUS) the two are often mistaken for each other. CHAMPVA is a Department of Veterans Affairs program whereas TRICARE is a regionally managed health care program for active duty and retired members of the uniformed services, their families, and survivors. In some cases a veterans may look to be eligible for both/either program on paper. However, if you are a military retiree, or the spouse of a veteran who was killed in action, you are and will always be a TRICARE beneficiary, you can´t choose between the two.

Eligibility
To be eligible for CHAMPVA, you cannot be eligible for TRICARE/CHAMPUS and you must be in one of these categories:

1. the spouse or child of a veteran who has been rated permanently and totally disabled for a service-connected disability by a VA regional office, or

2. the surviving spouse or child of a veteran who died from a VA-rated service connected disability, or

3. the surviving spouse or child of a veteran who was at the time death rated permanently and totally disabled from a service connected disability, or

4. the surviving spouse or child of a military member who died in the line of duty, not due to misconduct (in most of these cases, these family members are eligible for TRICARE, not CHAMPVA).

An eligible CHAMPVA sponsor may be entitled to receive medical care through the VA health care system based on his or her own veteran status. Additionally, as the result of a recent policy change, if the eligible CHAMPVA sponsor is the spouse of another eligible CHAMPVA sponsor, both may now be eligible for CHAMPVA benefits. In each instance where the eligible spouse requires medical attention, he or she may choose the VA health care system or coverage under CHAMPVA for his/her health care needs. If you have been previously denied CHAMPVA benefits and you believe you would now be qualified, please submit an application following the guidelines as listed on the “How to apply” section.

for more information on CHAMPVA

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