Healthcare Choices


Hello Jim, I keep going in circles trying to find the answer.   I am a widow to my late husband that passed on 17 Mar, 2018. He was a 27-year retired veteran in the US Navy. We were married for 37 1/2 years. This Dec., I will be 60 years old. I am currently with Tricare Select but was told if I remarry (a civilian) I could switch over to ChampVA and Tricare would go away. I am aware that I can not go back to Tricare in the future. My question is,will I still get to keep my late husband's retirement annuitant and is ChampVA a better benefit (only for me) than Tricare Select? Thank you for your time!

Jim's Reply:

I wish I had a simple answer but of course, there is no such thing. You have options, maybe too many options because there is no right answer that fits each scenario. In my family,  we have Medicare x 2 and CHAMPVA and the new VA "Community Care" program and we're never sure who should be using what.

A lot of which is the better benefit to choose and use depends a lot on where you live. The key is to determine the insurance scheme that most doctors and hospitals would prefer where you live...this isn't the same everywhere.

I often advise veterans and dependents that they can seek out a friendly health care provider or a medical practice group and set up an appointment to speak with their insurance manager. You can do the same at your local hospital, the one you believe you'd use if you were to need the services. These insurance managers are a great resource for helping you decide the future of your health care since they know everything happening where you are. They are always happy to consult to you since you're interested in the best way to pay them promptly. Go for it, I think you'll be happy you did.