Skip to comments.Who Gets VA Health Benefits?
Posted on 06/01/2014 4:46:03 PM PDT by yetidog
Whose is eligible for VA health benefits and why would anyone who is want them?
I was 6 years national guard, but not eligible for VA.
Life sucks, and then you die.
I believe it has to do with income/current.
I don’t think there will be enough private doctors for all the vets who use that insurance. Especially not after Obamacare takes full effect. I use it. I make too much for medicare, but am of mid to low income. I think it’s simply an available option that is inclusive. You can go to a VA hospital and see many different specialists. In civilian world, you would be driving all over the place trying to find the right doctors, then you would have to negotiate the costs. I also like that Doctor A, can look at your med records to see what Doctor B and C are doing for you, so coordination is far easier under one auspice. I have been fortunate, but of course nothing is perfect.
If you separated with a service connected health issue you can apply for VA benefits. They use a pretty complicated formula and its taking current active duty with medical discharges 1-2 years to get through the system.
What is ‘eligible’? Eligible to be told by an intern that my friend (’Nam-era) doesn’t qualify for hip replacement, as he was? The doctor never even saw him. That, after waiting 14 months...
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A lot of vets in Calif seem to get go care from the VA. Don’t know why.
I retired with a 70% disability after 28 years of service. That rating was too low, as I have had several surgeries and facial reconstruction. I go to the VA so that they will have a record of all of my medical care. Otherwise, I’d have to make sure they go all of my private records. Of course, they lost all of my appeal paperwork...
Once you are in the system, primary car appointments and meds are easy to get. Specialty care is another story. You will wait months.
Not to be personal, but how can you make too much for Medicare if you are otherwise eligible? Does or can VA eligibility serve as coverage for Part B Medicare coverage (and premium)? If so, I want some.
I did just 3 years active and 8 in the active reserves, but am entitled to zero zilch nada
I have a service connected disability from 1983. I been to the VA exactly twice. The first time was to get an appointment after I started bleeding and the second time was to complain after the doctor told me when I showed up that he can’t see me for another month.
Next day I was brought to the hospital where I spent 7 nights.
That was 31 years ago. Yes it has been that bad that long.
Vets disabled from war injuries can receive it at any time. Vets with financial difficulties can also receive some coverage.
I’m a hundred percent. I read about what is going on in other areas but I get great care via the VA in northern Cali.
My son is a Marine who was critically injured in Afghanistan and medically separated from the Corp. Unfortunately, due to the extent and severity of his injuries, he has no option for the rest of his life than the VA. He is only 27. I worry about it a lot. Probably more than he does.
The care he got in the 14 months of his hospital stay was pretty good, but now that he is out....who knows?
Yeah I saw them once when I got rated for my disability. It was a separation exam.
The one time I needed them I was denied because I hadn’t been seen by them recently.
Some VA Hospitals are apparently ok and some are death traps. It depends on the one in your area I guess.
Whose is eligible for VA health benefits and why would anyone who is want them?
To: yetidog: Hundreds of thousands of Vets who have no Health Insurance or have Medicare and prefer the VA. I’ve saved hundreds of thousands of dollars using the VA for free medical care and prescriptions. I had my first arteriogram of my heart at a private hospital. I had my second one 7 years later at the VA Hospital in Houston. I’m telling you, the VA was State-of-the-Art; made the private hospital look like M.A.S.H. If I have a 10:00 a.m. appointment, I’m in at 10:00 a.m. or 5 minutes before. That won’t happen in your private doctor’s office. You’ll be called back 1 hour after your appointment time and sit back there for 30 more minutes before your “very busy” doc comes in for 5 minutes and charges your insurance $2,000 for a 5 minute visit.
You need to get some info before you ask a dumb a** question; Bucko!
Many of the vets getting treatment at the VA do not have any health coverage otherwise. The ER will only teat if life threatening. As slow as the VA might be it is still something. The vets feel they have earned the VA and are not generally willing to go the medicaid route even though they may qualify. An acquaintance just passed away of liver failure a few days after being discharged from the VA hospital he was on a 4 month long list for a transplant but he was not really a good transplant candidate due to his bad habits.
Interesting responses that run contrary to public (most of whom are not vets) perception regarding military service. I suspect most think every veteran saw and suffered combat, is eligible for benefits that are being screwed up when the real problem is a big incompetent federal agency (most if not all, are) is trying to provide health services to a somewhat selective population. God save us from Obmamacare.
Many who are eligible don’t have company retirement medical plans. If they didn’t put in their 20 years in the military, then they are not eligible for TriCare. So that leaves those that are not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare without any other options.
Now that has been changed to 24 months.
National Guard and Reserve Duty don't count unless you serve the min number of months on active duty.
This is why you see some Tours of Duty that are only 179 days, after day 180 you get more benefits.
The VA uses a classification system to determine how much you pay. Service connected, and Ex-POW are at the top. Since I don't have any disability and a good job, I am down at the bottom.
The higher up the system you are doesn't mean you get to go first. At just means you have may not have to pay as much.
The percentage of Service Connections gives you different beneifits.
I asked about eligibility, not a review of individual care at a VA hospital, bucko.
Thumbnail rundown on eligibility can be found here:
If you are eligible, the VA places you into one of 8 priority groups based on the nature of your service and income level.That list can be found here:
Those who are in a high priority group and who have no other options or options that are minimal may find that the VA provides good care. The highest priority groups generally get excellent care, but quality varies for the lower priority groups. The coverage is only for the veteran, so if you have a family, you have to find other coverage for them.
I am retired from the Army and had Tricare with a supplement until I became eligible for Medicare and Tricare for Life. I have never used the VA health care system, but who knows what might happen down the road.
If you served more than 180 days you should be able to apply for benefits. I served 3 active and 17 reserve, I have no service connections. I can go to the VA for my care.
I’m technically a vet due to a post 9-11 deployment. I was between jobs at one point and got shingles. I used the VA to diagnose and prescribe antivirals. It was a slow and depressing process, but it worked.
As a Non-Service Connected Vet I have gotten quite a few Benefits from the VA, Eye, Audiology, Podiatry, Colonoscopy, etc.
Yes you do have benefits. They are lying to you.
There are a lot like your son and they should be at the top of the list with 100% priority.
There are a lot playing the system and eating up resources needlessly, including pill seekers, wear them out for disability, etc.
For many years the big VA hospitals sought out vets with Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare eligibility because of the declining number of vets from WWII and Korea (they were dying off). These vets were encouraged to use the system because they would be re-reimbursed and could keep the budget and staff.
Additionally, periodically the services (depending who was in charge) would change large number of discharges from dishonorable, bad conduct, etc. to general/administrative which would make them possibly eligible. They encouraged, processed and approved a significant number of these claims in the 10 - 30% range which swelled the numbers of clients.
With the Mid-East wars and the explosion of real vets with real medical requirements the system was overburdened especially in the mental health area.
In many areas, VA is the only choice that is economically practical for many vets.
What should be frightening is that they used VA as an example of what they would like the nationalized health system to look like.
I make a good wage but went to the Long Beach VA hospital for an emergency and was in patient for 5-days (they almost killed me. Posted that saga on a thread a while back).
Former serving, honorably discharged qualify, as far as I can recall.
I am guessing that you are not eligible due to a “means (income) test.” My point is that the politicians talk about the VA in the context of a “debt owed” to “all those who wore the uniform.” are unloading a bag of crap..it is a service provided to a narrow group of “eligible” veterans, irrespective of the nature of the service that was provided..since -— if you happen, as a vet, to reach a particular financial plateau that exceeds what the government thinks is more that what it should be in order to get subsidized medical care.. well TS Mr.Vet. I don’t have a problem with any of this, I just think that this circumstance should be a part of the story that is now being sold to us by the MSM.
I think he was asking asking about VA medical care, or I may be wrong. You qualify immediately for VA care the day you leave service honorably. . .as far as I recall.
Service-connected injuries qualify you for VA payments as well as hospital coverage.
If you retire from service you can receive military retirement pay—reduced by the amount the VA assesses for your service-connected injury and that VA amount is paid (non-taxable) to you. If you are 50% or more rated, then you can receive concurrently your full military retirement AND the VA payment (non-taxable). This is the process that is taking sooooo long. . .getting your VA disability rating. Takes years.
My father in his 90s gets lower cost heart medication through the VA system. He has to reapply annually. Being on medicare doesn’t mean you can’t use other health insurance or other govt health benefits.
About ten years ago I learned a friend was a patient in the VA hospital. I went to visit her and told her I had not known she was a veteran She told me she was not, but that her husband was 100% service connected disabled and that made her eligible for care there.
I don’t know if that is still true or not.
My husband had private insurance and medicare but preferred the care at the VA. It actually cost him more to see the VA doctors than private, but he got good care and he liked going there. That was the Charlie Norwood VAMC Downtown Division in Augusta, GA.
If you have a “service connected” medical condition determined by the VA you are eligible. If you don’t have a “service connected” condition, you must meet low income guidelines established by Congress. Treatment for service connected conditions is free to the veteran. Treatment for a non-service connected condition involves a relatively small copay.
My experience with the VA is 180-out from yours.
Awful people, uncaring, rude, don’t see you as human.
I had an unknown ailment that was killing me. . . painfully (turned out to be MRSA), but yet they moved me into a room with three other guys and taped a sign on the door saying medical staff have to “mask up” when entering because of what I had. . .but yet it was OK for the other three guys in the room
My arm flopped put one night and I actually touched the bed next to me. We were that close. Air conditioning was on/off — basically broke. Stuffy room. Three other guys with one guy moaning all the time (he died), other guy crying and the other guy was deaf and had his BIG square color-washed-out non-cable staticy TV over his bed turned all the way up. . oh yeah, nice place to be treated. No internet access for doing work, not sanitary—gnats and fungus and gauze bandages in the shower down the hall, bathroom down the hall, food was what they literally plopped down in front of you (no choice), and it was classic tastless mush. . too include a dinner that had turned bad and smelled terribly. If they were a private hospital they would have been out of business in a heart-beat.
I was released and then they called me that very evening wanting me back for a 14-day in hospital treatment plan—they verified I had MRSA.
I verified I wasn’t contagious and refused and got on the first jet in the morning and flew to Texas where I immediately checked into a very nice private hospital (http://www.texashealthflowermound.com/). Private room, nice flatscreen TV with cable, cool, airy, clean room, attentive staff, friendly nurses, docs that actually talked with you, heck, even the guy that came to my room carrying a full menu to take my order for the day was nice. Food was great (didn’t get a choice in the VA in Long Beach). Free internet access so I could work while in bed. 9-day stay. Didn’t want to leave was treated so well.
My private hospital was outstanding.
I did write a VA IG complaint and specifically mentioned the systemic failures at the hospital and specifically requested an outside investigation. IG had the hospital director investigate herself. . .amazing, she found all my complaints groundless.
Service connected injury. I was ordered to follow up with the VA. I showed up, the surgeon told me they were going to schedule me for surgery. I left and never went back.
It’s nice to know I’m in the system and have back up coverage but I hope to never step foot in one again.
I had an uncle who lost a leg in ‘45. He had to go to the VA to get new legs and have them check his stump.
It was a pain in the stump.
He was well off enough to have private insurance. I have no idea why he kept going back. I guess he figured he deserved free care. (Not arguing that point—but at the time specialists could have helped him more.)
The ones I knew .. and know .. all had/have jobs and provided for their later years themselves
An online friend of mine went to the VA for a pacemaker. He didn’t have to wait very long before one was installed.
Then, news surfaced that that particular kind/brand of pacemaker was defective and had killed many people. He’s OK, but how long will he be? He tells me that removing it would tear his heart muscles and kill him, so he’s stuck with the thing.
My husband was “grandfathered” in prior to the current financial guidelines. He never got free care and paid $50 every time he saw a specialist. There were also room rates to pay when he was hospitalized. Now, veterans who have assets and incomes over a certain amount are not even eligible for care.
The VA web site might be a good place to
start finding out what you qualify for.
Quite a bit of info there.
I have a buddy here in Kalifornia who used the VA exclusively until he hit the Medicare age crossing...and he was Coast Guard, so he never left the state.....I haven't quizzed him on qualifiers, if any.
Personally, as a USMC vet from 1966 - 72, I'd had quite enough of government and military, so never in the slightest did I consider going that route --- I'd rather have had my appendix explode than get in "another phocking line".
In various employment from then until retirement (I be 67), insurance was never offered or provided, so I bought my own for decades. No regrets, altho it got rather pricey.
Any service related injury should be enough to get VA benefits. I was told to go to the VA and have my hearing checked and see if I was qualified for benefits, but have better hearing than many 20 yr olds.
I can still see bullet hole stikes at 25 meters, so no use to try for benefits. I have TRICARE Prime from my military service and it is working fine for us.