Let me start this blog off by stating that I don’t know much about healthcare. In no way is this blog post meant to serve as a “how to” guide for VA health care. However, yesterday while I was messing around on Facebook I noticed that the VA posted an update about combat Veterans being able to receive 5 years of free health care. I decided to look into more information on this, and it was not easy to find. Several clicks through the website and I believe I have found the information I need.
According to the VA: “Combat Veterans who were discharged or released from active service on or after January 28, 2003, are eligible to enroll in the VA health care system for 5 years from the date of discharge or release.”
The post I saw read “cost free health care,” so I interrupted that as free. I could be wrong though as this is the VA we are dealing with. They also go on to state: Combat Veterans, while not required to disclose their income information, may do so to determine their eligibility for a higher priority status, beneficiary travel benefits, and exemption of copays for care unrelated to their military service.
Ok, so this all just a bit confusing and a bit too “wordy” for me. And you know what; I think the VA may have realized that, because there was actually a neat and helpful feature on the page that changed my whole outlook on this program. They actually have an eligibility calculator that I found very helpful.
(Disclaimer, I am not personally a Veteran, nor have I served at any time in the US Armed Forces. The calculator requires no name, or social security number. The information I submitted was fictional.)
The calculator is really simple. I answered the questions as if I were a returning Veteran from combat. They asked several other simple questions about where you serve, some info about your income, and then it lets you know if you can receive treatment at the VA.
Test the Calculator out by clicking here.
Based on the information I provided, I would have had $0 out of pocket expenses. I stopped there because the next step is where you can enroll in health care, and as a non-Veteran I did not want to do that. But it’s pretty neat that the option is available to enroll online.
So, why am I going on about this topic? There are really two reasons. First of all, I have preached about seeking treatment for the past two years and thought maybe it was time to explain how to do that. Second of all, I spoke to a Veteran yesterday who had no idea how to enroll. I thought I would look into this for him and found a world of information I did not know prior.
So, I know the VA is in a complicated situation right now. Actually, who am I kidding, changing planes at O’Hare is complicated? The VA Health Care system is more like a certified hot mess. However, getting treatment is still important to your claim. Not every VA medical facility is as corrupt as the one in Phoenix. I personally don’t know what it’s like…but I know someone who does. So, my next blog this week will focus on what it’s like for a Veteran to receive health care at the VA. I’ll be talking to Bill, an Air Force Veteran, to see what his experience has been like.
Already receiving VA health care? Call us today to see if you are eligible for VA Disability benefits. 1-877-526-3457, or fill out this form and we will contact you.