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Department of Veterans Affairs


Veterans need to know that they DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE MEDICARE if they are happy with their VA benefits OR if they are happy with their health insurance coverage from their current employer, OR just because they turn 65. Most of them say that they don't use Medicare because they have the VA medical benefits but thought that it was mandatory to have Medicare also. THIS IS CAUSING THE GOVERNMENT TO DOUBLE DIP FOR ONE PERSON. This is also causing millions of dollars in waste. An ad campaign directed solely at our veterans should suffice. It can be done cheaply if not free. They should be given a substantial amount of time, after the ad campaign, to opt out, penalty free. I take millions of calls on the National 800 number. Veterans just do not seem to know about Medicare benefits per se'. If they insist on keeping Medicare and the VA medical coverage at the same time, then they should be assessed a higher Medicare premium.

They should also be given more time to decline the Medicare coverage instead of allowing the coverage to automaticaly go into effect after 3 months of notification or age 65, whichever comes first. There are a whole host of other things in regards to saving money on this issue but I have to get back to work. If it is selected, I hope to be given the time to ellaborate. They do not provide time off to complete these request in our office



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Idea No. 17297