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Getting VA health care - anm - 08-05-2014

I have a question about health issues that I can't think where else to ask it. I know some of you are veterans, and I also know that there are some Vietnam vets out there too. I am a Vietnam vet, and I need an affordable source for health care. I served a single enlistment in the US Army, spent one year in Vietnam and was honorably discharged a while later. Do I qualify to get health care in a VA hospital?

I've heard some of you mention the VA hospitals, but I have no idea how I go about getting health problems looked into. I've looked online, and have registered with them that way, is that all I have to do?

RE: Getting VA health care - 66788 - 08-05-2014

Your eligibility for VA healthcare will depend on your financial status. I have had VA coverage for about 8 years now and they have treated me for several serious and expensive conditions. I probably would not be alive if it weren't for the VA. (1974 vet)

Take your DD214 and talk with them at the nearest facility and they will qualify you for immediate treatment. The fees are very reasonable or waived depending on your specific situation.

In spite of all the negative publicity, the VA is a good healthcare organization, especially compared to Kaiser Permanente.

RE: Getting VA health care - VJG1977 - 08-06-2014

I did not serve in Vietnam but I enlisted in the Army in 1972 and served 12 years. About 14 years ago I went back to school to get a degree in AutoCAD. While I was in school, with no income and without any medical insurance, I could get treatment through the VA. Here is a link to the VA eligibility guidelines.

RE: Getting VA health care - speedgene - 08-06-2014

My care is at the VA and I also work their. I will be retiring next year and hitting the road. Come into one of the hospitals and bring your DD 214 and they will set you up and made an ID card for you. It's easy. Also many places will give you a discount if you show them the card.... like Home depot, Lowe's, many other places. Many Vet's work their and we understand other vet's better that anyone else can.

RE: Getting VA health care - offroad - 08-07-2014

make sure that you imply that you are homeless, and trying to get back on your feet again. There is a big push to help homeless veterans and you will get priority assistance.

The reality is there is a line to get VA veterans care. If you income is homeless levels you get it for free. Be prepared to wait all day.

And also be prepared to get into the local newspaper, when you are not getting helped. Its stupid but true.

There are two VA groups. The VBA which says what you get for help (rather nasty bureaucracy), and the VHA which says what medical care you get (which will fix urgent issues). The DD214 will get you urgent help if you walk into the ER VA hospital. But you will eventually need to get the full registration in the system, which is in backlog for a year to register.

If you live more that 50 miles away from a clinic or hospital , and you have VA benefits, you can get care at a regular doctor (once you are scheduled). This benefit is just rolling out now and will take six months to be available.

Kind of wonder how much DD214 fraud is happening out there. For a one shot ER visit, and you are homeless, and you are lawsuit proof (no assets) bet this is happening.

RE: Getting VA health care - anm - 08-07-2014

Thanks for the quick responses!
I'm living off SS and a tiny private pension, but it's enough to put me above the poverty line. I have no assets other than my van (and a car my son has in my name, so he can get cheap insurance).

I will get to the local VA hospital and make sure I'm registered (I did it decades ago) and get an id card.

If I want tests done, like hearing, will they do that? Do I have to make an appointment or just show up? I was an aircraft mechanic in the army before things like hearing loss was invented, my son says he thinks they'll pay for hearing aids.

Thanks for your help!

RE: Getting VA health care - LeeRevell - 08-07-2014

Checking the qualifying conditions on that VA website, it looks like I might possibly qualify due to my second hitch (USN for five and a half years). If I lose my current health plan due to expense, the VA may be a workable substitute.

RE: Getting VA health care - Coffee Tim - 08-07-2014

Depending on just what your low income is you may be entirely free or on a copay. Since my income may vary from year to year I may have copay one year but not the next.
Most years are free but my current copay for a 30 day med supply is $8.00 and no copay for services. Yes you can get hearing tests and everything else at the VA.
I think the best way is to take your DD214 and go in person to the VA hospital to get signed up. They need to take your picture for your ID card and while you are there you can sign up for MyHealthVet so you can communicate on line and renew your meds. You might even be able to get a shower and a bite to eat. Just remember your training: Hurry up and wait. Good luck

RE: Getting VA health care - speedgene - 08-07-2014

I had hearing loss from Navy air craft. Three years ago I found out hearing loss is covered by VA so I got tested and received 10% disability. This opened the door to care and now I have hearing aids at no cost and other free care. At the hospital ask about help applying for disability from DAV. You only need declare your SS income. You are homeless and that does mean allot. Even just getting your med's covered is a big help.

Getting VA health care - offroad - 08-08-2014

The hearing test issue is true. They consider your military service to be the cause of its damage. Think even cigarette smoking could be cause in military service. All you need is one issue and you get help with the rest. But it is a long time between appointments.