Sunday, July 24, 2016

Do Not Pay the Price of Service With Your Life

About a week ago I got into a conversation with a young veteran about suicide. There have been numerous reports of veterans calling the Suicide Hotline and not getting the help they needed when they needed it. I asked her why they do not just call 911 and ask for help.  She said they do not want to get stuck with the bill.

Stunning I know but it very well may play a part in veteran in crisis not wanting to add more burden on their shoulders.

While Enhanced Eligibility for VA Healthcare has extended free care for combat veterans up to 5 years, too many veteran do not use it.  

Who's Eligible?
Veterans, including activated Reservists and members of the National Guard, are eligible if they served on active duty in a theater of combat operations after November 11, 1998, and have been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.

  • Eligible combat Veterans will have free medical care and medications for any condition that may be related to their service in theater.
  • Immediate benefits of health care coverage.
  • No enrollment fee, monthly premiums or deductibles.
  • Low or no out-of-pocket costs.  During the five-year post discharge timeframe, there may be small medical care or prescription drug copayments for medical care for any condition not related to combat theater.   See our Copayment page for more information. (Copayment page)
  • Once enrolled, the Veteran will remain enrolled.
  • Enrollment with VA satisfies the health care law’s requirement to have health care coverage. 
  • Medical care rated among the best in the United States.
  • More than 1,700 places available to get health care.
  • VA health care can be used along with Medicare and any other health insurance coverage.

And this part is something else to pay attention to.

Veterans who qualify under this special eligibility are not subject to copays for conditions potentially related to their combat service. However, unless otherwise exempted, combat Veterans must either disclose their prior year gross household income OR decline to provide their financial information and agree to make applicable copays for care or services VA determines are clearly unrelated to their military service.
If you know a veteran in crisis and they cannot get help from the Crisis line, have them call 911 and ask for fire rescue. I have talked to firefighters and police officers about this.  If you call for police, what happens is a veteran in crisis can find themselves under more stress when they see a police officer yet when a firefighter shows up, there is less stress.

Most of the time police officers will go with the department just in case but are there just in case things get out of control.

Keep in mind that a lot of police officers and firefighters are also veterans. They get it! As for the bill, let the VA sort that out afterwards.  

If you are among the veteran with less than honorable discharges CALL 911 and save your life so you can fight to have the discharge changed.  There are about 140,000 of you that happened to adding to the veterans from previous wars having their discharges changed. Do not pay the cost of service with your life!

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