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I am 69 years-old and 70% service connected.  Currently, Social Security takes money out for Medicare Plan B.  I’ve only used Medicare once in the last several years.  Can I drop Medicare Plan B and save some money or is it mandatory that I have it?

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A1:  I checked into that when I turned 62,I was getting 80%. If I can remember if you drop it or don't take it when you retire,you can't sign up for it at a later date. I strongly suggest you go to your local SS office and get the straight scoop there. Laws are always changing. Even though I'm rated 100% service connected I still keep it.  (EK)  2/2/19

A2:  Part B (unless this has recently changed) it is not mandatory. However, if when first signing up for Medicare and you do not opt for it there is a penalty if you do want to sign up for Part B in the future. I am assuming the same would be true should you drop and then want to once again receive Part B.  (SJ)  2/2/19

A3:  I'm 70@80% and I carry Part B and the drug rider simply because of the convenience of being able to use any hospital and provider. I looked into dropping these Medicare-related options and decided it was too uncertain as to how the VA would treat my needs going forward. I get my yearly phys and any ongoing meds from the VA.  (SB)  2/2/19

A4:  You do not need Medicare B . In fact the VA told me not to carry my medicare card . I had a heart attack 3 years ago from coronary heart disease. As A VN veteran this is a presumptive disease for those with boots on the ground in Viet Nam. I was unconscious when i arrived at the hospital (4 cardiac arrests on the way to the hospital) and the hospital took my medicare card and charged some of the charges to that. this left me with a 20% deductible.Took me a year to get the VA to settle this but it also took me 2 years to get it off my credit report as an unpaid bill. I leave my medicare card at home now. BTW, I was rated 100%, P&T.  (GM)  2/2/19

A5:  I dropped my part ( B ) several years ago and I just go to the VA hospital and I haven't had any trouble.  (JW)  2/2/19

A6:  Everybody receives Part A (Hospitalization) automatically at retirement. Part B covers doctors charges and other stuff... You can decline that part IF you are receiving your healthcare through the VA. It will save you $135.50/month in 2019.  (EH)  2/2/19

A7:  I would say that if you are P&T, and you live where you can get all your medical care from the VA, and always will, then Medicare Part B is not likely to be of any use to you.  (AJ)  2/2/19

A8:  Yes you can go to your local SS office and cancel part B but if you decide to go back SS will charge a 10 percent penalty for each year you don't have part B.  (DG)  2/2/19

A9:  You did not mention if you are retired military or not. If you are, then you must keep the medicare part B in order to qualify for the Tricare for Life. If you are not retired military, I would still keep the MediCare Part B to cover most of your hospital bill. VA normally only covers service connected disabilities if you are hospitalized. Check with your local VA and ask the same question to make sure what they cover in case of hospitalization before terminating medicare part B. I hope this helps.  (RC)  2/2/19

A10:  You don't have to keep part B. Your VA coverage is considered acceptable.  If you decide later that you want to redo the part B you should have no problem.  (TM)  2/2/19

A11:  Yes, but if you drop it and later start Medicare again, they will penalize you 10% for every year you are eligible for it and don't have it. I was eligible for Medicare in 2009, but because I had VA healthcare, I didn't take it. When I decided to take Medicare in 2013, they charged me 40% more every month, than everyone else. And it is forever, as long as I have it.  (RR)  2/2/19

A12:  I was advised by the VA at Reno, in the eligibility office, that I didn't need Part B Medicare because I'm 90% disability and the VA would cover my medical costs. I was hospitalized 5 or 6 times in Oklahoma and admitted through the ER at my local hospital. Every time the Emergency Physicians failed to submit their bill within the 90 days required so the VA refused to pay. Part B would have covered.  If you drop Part B you are gambling that you aren't going to need it.  (TR)  2/2/19

A13:  Personally (87 & 10% service connected), I am keeping the part B and still use VA on occasions (hearing, eyes, diabetes) .....I find the local Dr's/hospitals much more convenient than the 25 mile drive to the VA hosp., also, the appointments local are sooner than if made with VA.  (WS)  2/2/19

A14:  If your can afford it keep it who knows what is going to happen with health care. If you give it up you might not get it back or have to pay a penalty. Who know what is going to happen with this healthcare for all for nothing.  (PM)  2/2/19

A15:  Answer A9 says it all. 100% correct.  (MM)  2/2/19

A16:  I know a number of vets who are 100% and still carry Medicare. I have no idea why. One says if he?s in a car accident the VA won't take care of him. I say, hogwash! They will!!! Spending $135 a month and get care elsewhere is beyond me. The VA will take care of you, especially if you are a regular.  (4 visits a year to your primary!!)  (PB)  2/2/19

A17:  Absolutely, I am 70% receive all my care for VA for free. I have Part A from medicare for hospitalization if needed. You have to questioned yourself why did I sign up for Part B in the first place. Did you just receive your 70%?  (JE)  2/2/19

A18:  No AND NO. If you decide to drop Medicare part B, the VA will demand that you still pay it to them.  So keep Medicare part B, it may come in handy when a private doctor (i.e. ER) is asked to consult your case and you would be surprised at the bill.  (TJ)  2/2/19

A19:  I was in the same boat, I dropped mine several years back. I use mine only once and it cost me money.  (DT)  2/2/19

A20:  I'm currently receiving social security pensions and Medicare.  It's wiser to have multiple health insurance. My wife will be 65 years old this year . It'll be BENEFICIAL for our spouse.   However, if you're single and you don't want to pay $135. You can cancel it...good luck!  (HA)  2/3/19

A21:  Every Time I use Medicare, I get billed...
If the Civilian Hospital Bill is due to a Service Connected Injury or Disability, VA should pay the bill.  I don't believe I would dump any of the Medicare. You might regret it later.  (CS)  2/3/19

A22:  I declined Part B when I first signed up for Medicare. I actually went to a SS office to sign up. They gave me a difficult time when I said I didn't want Part B. They even threatened me saying if I decide later that I wanted Part B I would charged a much higher rate based on how long I had gone without it. I'm a 100% service connected Vietnam veteran.   I have on occasion gone to my old civilian doctor for sinus or other minor issues so I have had to pay for those office visits. Still much cheaper than paying that monthly fee! They just want that money.  (RS)  2/3/19

A23:  I dropped mine when I got my VA approved. I have insurance from my Civil Service retirement to make up any differences.  (JS)  2/3/19

A24:  I would maintain part B which is very good, if you decide to use the Medicare system verse the VA medical system. For me, I maintain part B, which allows me to keep my Tricare for life as my supplement to madicare. Therefore, I don?t worry about core payments. Do your research and make a final decision. Have a great day.  (AD)  2/3/19 

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