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I am a senior citizen with Medicare, Medigap & MedicareD. This is very expensive! I am thinking of using the VA program instead, keeping my Medicare B ($93 mo) but dropping my Medigap ($170 mo) & Medicare D ($50 mo.). How would this work? Is it wise? What has been your experience, problems, costs?
Thanks.

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There is a good summary at http://www4.va.gov/healtheligibility/costs/MedicareDEligibility.asp. Basically, there is no problem dropping Medicare Part D, but Congress could pull your VA benefits at any time, depending on your status. Dropping Medigap would be more expensive if you are hospitalized outside of the VA and you rarely have a choice of hospitals when the ambulance comes. I have a local VA clinic, but hospitalization would be 60 miles away.

My Medigap F covers all Medicare co-pays and deductibles ($217 per month, age 72, AARP plan.) That allows me to see my regular cardiologist every six weeks at no charge to me and covers any surgery he may recommend in his choice of hospitals. I suspect that some other surgeries might be harder to get from the VA than from Medicare. like knee or hip replacement.

I agree it's tempting. Hard to see how the added penalty of late enrollment in Medigap would be more than paying $2,600 a year for continuing coverage, especially during a time of so many wars and the way veterans have been honored recently. On top of that, I think my VA care, started recently, is more comprehensive than was my previous general practitioner. They seem much more thorough.
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