Do I Need Medicare If I Get My Health Care At VA Or IHS Facilities?

Oct 21 2019 - 2:52pm

If I have VA Healthcare and Indian Health Service(IHS), I'm native American, do I even need Medicare? Medicare is deducting from my SS every month.

Hi Richard,

I can't give you a yes or no answer on that. Just to clarify, Part A of Medicare is premium free as long as you qualify for monthly Social Security benefits and you're at least age 65. If Medicare premiums are being deducted from your Social Security benefits, then the deductions are likely for Part B of Medicare. Part B helps to cover outpatient care, which includes doctor bills and many of the medical tests and services provided in hospitals.

You may not need Part B of Medicare if you get all of your medical care at the VA or IHS. However, if you drop Part B coverage you would likely then have no insurance to help cover outpatient care if you can't get to a VA or IHS facility for treatment. You'll have to decide for yourself how likely it is that you would be unable to get to a VA or IHS facility when you need medical care, and whether or not it's worth it for you to continue paying Part B premiums in order to have insurance coverage in case you do end up at a non-VA or non-IHS facility.

Best, Jerry