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Becker County Veterans participate in Roundup

Greg Remus

The Tri-County Veterans Round-up was a great success. On July 9 at the Menahga Senior Center, we held a unique veterans benefits event. It was the first of its' kind in the Hubbard, Wadena and Becker counties. Between 300-400 veterans, military and family members walked through the doors.

I hope you found this event informative and enjoyable. We had nearly 20 organizations represented ranging from the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center Fargo to the Military Assistance Council for Veterans, from Senator Klobuchar's Office to the Mayor of Menahga, from the Minnesota National Guard (with rock climbing wall) to service organizations like the Disabled American Veterans (and Auxiliary) and the Marine Corps League. Veterans and family members were able to get answers about benefits directly from those organizations. By the way we distributed 8 pallets of military surplus. The distribution was fun to watch.

I'd like to extend my personal thanks to the organizations that participated and donated time and materials. If you missed this event and still have questions regarding veterans benefits please feel free to contact me directly. My contact information is listed below.

If you are a military retiree eligible for TRICARE benefits and receive a disability check you must carefully consider your options regarding Medicare before making decisions that could result in a loss of TRICARE coverage.

Medicare decisions may impact your eligibility to received TRICARE.

In general, most beneficiaries become eligible for Medicare at age 65. Plus, many beneficiaries under age 65 may also qualify for Medicare and there is one critical fact they need to know. Most TRICARE beneficiaries who are eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A are required under federal law to enroll in Medicare Part B to keep TRICARE benefits.

Medicare Part A covers inpatient care in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. It also covers hospice and some home health care. Medicare Part B is medical insurance. It helps cover outpatient and physician services as well as some physical and occupational therapies and home health care. When Medicare coverage is effective, it becomes the primary insurance, while TRICARE becomes the secondary. Beneficiaries who take appropriate steps to maintain their TRICARE eligibility will often have no out-of-pocket expenses for health care services covered by Medicare and TRICARE.

As long as you remain TRICARE-eligible, you do not need a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to keep your TRICARE prescription drug coverage.

Please continue to update your information in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS), the computerized database for everyone who is eligible for military benefits, including TRICARE. Keeping your DEERS information current, even after you turn 65, is a key to ensuring effective, timely delivery of your TRICARE benefits. You can contact a DEERS representative at 1-800-334-4162.

Detailed information on how Medicare and TRICARE work together is available through the TRICARE Web site at mybenefit/home/overview/Eligibility? Users can also research TRICARE issues at

As always the purpose of the Hubbard County Veteran Service Office is to provide assistance and support to eligible veterans, their dependents and survivors in obtaining benefits through the State and Federal Departments of Veterans Affairs, and to provide benefit counseling, claims service, referral and assistance in a variety of other programs. You can contact me at the Hubbard County Veteran Service Office at 201 Fair Ave, Park Rapids, 218-732-3561. Have a great day!

Don't forget every third Thursday of each month I will be at the Lakeport Town Hall in Laporte from 9 a.m. to noon and the Lake George Town Hall from 1 to 3 p.m.