Q: I have been receiving benefits from Social Security Disability since 2003 and am now age 65. The VA provides my health care. I was sent a letter by the Social Security Administration informing me that they will begin deducting a Medicare premium from my monthly check beginning next month.


If I am not using Medicare, is there anything I can do to stop this deduction? I am already on limited income and this will reduce it each month.


A: Medicare is not required; however it is advisable for the majority of people. If you sign up for Medicare Part A, which covers 80 percent of most hospital costs, it is free. If you sign up for Part B, which covers 80 percent of most doctor charges and some tests, it is completely voluntary and costs a monthly premium that will be deducted from your benefits from Social Security. Whether you should sign up for Medicare A or B would be wise depending on exactly what you are provided with by the VA and how long it will provide care for you.

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