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Other Government Health Plans

There are some types of Medicare Health Plans that aren't part of Medicare Advantage. When you are researching Medicare coverage in your area, ask the counselor for details on Medicare Cost Plans and Demonstration or Pilot Programs.

Other Government Plans

Many people think that Medicare is the only government-funded program that provides health care insurance for people over 65. However, certain groups of elders have access to other government-funded insurance programs. The following information can help you decide if the elder in your care is eligible for one of these programs.

Government Employee Health Plans

Retired federal, state, or local government employees (and their families) may have health care coverage that replaces Medicare or insurance that complements Medicare. Contact the employer's personnel or human resources department for details regarding the elder's health care benefits.

Indian Health Plans

Native American elders who receive health care from the Indian Health Service, a Tribal Health Program, or Urban Indian Health Program should contact their provider to understand how Medicare benefits work with their coverage.

Military Service Benefits

Some elders (and family members) may be eligible for health care coverage through the Veterans Administration (VA) or the Department of Defense (DoD) if they have served in the military or, in some cases, have been on active duty while in the National Guard. Coverage in either program may also require participation in Medicare Part A and Part B. There are two major programs:

  1. TRICARE: The DoD provides coverage through TRICARE (formerly known as CHAMPUS) to active-duty and retired military persons and their dependents. Detailed information about eligibility and coverage is available on the Web site or by calling 877-TRICARE (877-874-2273). Not all VA Medical Centers participate in the TRICARE network. VA Medical Centers that participate in TRICARE will provide treatment for a non-service-related disability if space is available.
  2. CHAMPVA: This Veterans Administration health care coverage is provided to veterans and their dependents who meet one of the eight categories of eligibility. Detailed information is provided on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Web site or by calling 877-222-8387 toll free. In many cases, home care services to manage daily living tasks are covered by the CHAMPVA.

Some veterans are eligible for health care coverage through either program. Choosing which program is best for the elder requires some research. Be warned that making a decision to change benefit coverage between these two programs within a specific episode of care may result in denial of payment from either program. For more information about how this works, contact the person who serves as the TRICARE "Beneficiary Point-of Contact" at your regional VA facility.

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