Research Shows Some Veterans’ Health Costs Exceed Other Retirees’
Some disabled veterans who were injured in the Iraq or Afghanistan wars pay more for health care than other retirees, according to a report from inspectors general from the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, CongressDaily reports (CongressDaily, 7/9).
According to the AP/Chicago Tribune, service members who are deemed unfit for continued military service after service-related injury or illness are designated as "medically retired." Such retirees are eligible to continue receiving care through the military health care system.
However, if they do not live near VA facilities, they are permitted to enroll in Medicare and receive care from civilian providers.
Retirees who enroll in Medicare pay approximately $1,160 annually in monthly premiums until age 65, compared with no monthly premiums for retirees who use VA services. The report recommends waiving for life the Medicare Part B premiums for medically retired military veterans who are unlikely to get another job to offset the higher costs.
The recommendation comes after a two-year review of troops injured in Afghanistan and Iraq transitioning from active duty in the military to care under VA (Jelinek, AP/Chicago Tribune, 7/8).