As a Michigan Veteran Affairs Accredited elder law attorney, a common question I receive from families is how Medicare, Veterans Benefits, and Medicaid fit together in addressing senior veteran’s long-term care costs. It can be confusing juggling multiple governmental benefit programs for a family. This post wil address Medicare and VA Benefits.
When a veteran receives health care, they must choose which benefits they will use, whether it’s Medicare or their veterans benefits. However, Medicare and VA Benefits cannot pay for the same service. Medicare does provide the option of not having to go to a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital or doctor who works with the VA, while to receive the VA Benefits you would have to go to a VA facility or have the VA authorize services at the non-VA facility.
There are instances where the VA will authorize services at a non-VA hospital, but the VA benefit will not pay for all of the services you get during your hospital stay, Medicare may then pay for any Medicare covered services that are not covered by the VA. Sometimes Medicare can help pay your VA co-payment. Medicare may be able to pay part of your co-payment if you are billed for VA authorized care by a doctor or hospital that is not part of the VA.
For more information, visit www.va.gov or medicare.gov.