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I think my confusion about needing Medicare Part B stems from the MISSION Act that became law in 2018 when I finally got around to signing up for VA Health Care. The MISSION Act requires the VA to bill third-party insurers for services not related to your service-connected disabilities. I was insured at the time under a Medicare Advantage plan by a third-party insurer that VA could bill.

If you have a life-threatening health problem, the VA requires you to call 911 and go to the nearest emergency room. In this situation, it is probably a good idea to have a Medicare card showing that you are covered under Part A and Part B. A heart attack requiring stents can be pretty damn expensive when you get admitted to the hospital.

The VA does urge veterans to have Medicare Part B, in particular, if their service-connected disability places them in a group other than Priority Group 1 (50% or greater SCD) as your health care can be discontinued should Congress not provide enough funding.
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