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Old 05-27-2022, 08:33 AM   #1
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VA Health Care

I have a Question about VA medical care. Is it beneficial for me to see a VA doc once a year even if I am not seeking management of my health care from them?

I am Air Force retired. I am registered with the VA. I have a small disability because of Agent Orange and heart problems. There is a VA Hospital and Clinics about 30 miles down the road. I have seen a doctor there one time. I get all of my medical care locally using Medicare and Tricare for Life. They cover almost all of my cost.

A friend tells me I should do an annual visit. I am looking for input from fellow vet.
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Old 05-27-2022, 09:31 AM   #2
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I am service-connected disable and I see my VA doctor once a year. I get my meds from them, and since we are full time, I go to a VA clinic when I need.
It is nice to be able to go to any clinic and have them to be able to pull up your medical records, after you register with that clinic.
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Old 05-27-2022, 09:44 AM   #3
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I’m a disabled vet and get almost all my care through the VA. When traveling use traveling vet program for my frequent type Dr appointments.
I’d say once a year is not bad and you never know what will happen with your disability. I stated out 10% now 70%. Once you are in their system it’s easier then trying to get started when you might require something. One advantage to VA maybe tri are all records at one location.
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Old 05-28-2022, 07:44 AM   #4
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Yes go see a VA doctor every year as your service connected disability condition could worsen. I have gone from 30 to 70 to 90% due to worsening service connected disability. Each upgrade was easier due to VA medical records being readily available to the VA claims and comp division. No need to obtain medical records from local Doctors.
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Old 05-28-2022, 07:53 AM   #5
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I use VA for everything. I am also a VA employee on permanent disability. However, OWCP keeps me jumping through hoops in order to maintain my disability payments. Private doctors have scorn for OWCP and will not do the necessary paperwork. OWCP recently engaged Optum for DME and pharmacy services, driving another screw into the disabled Federal workers.
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Old 05-28-2022, 07:58 AM   #6
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I do

I have no disability but am allowed to have an annual visit (check up) at my local VA. I am on Medicare with a supplement AARP policy. I don't feel right getting all my care from the VA and taking resources away from a vet who really needs them BUT, the annual check up and especially the blood work is so much better than the silly question and answer session allowed by Medicare annually. As an example the VA will do an annual PSA test where it is not covered under the Medicare annual visit. Also as stated in a previous post you should stay connected to you local VA, you never know what the future holds.

Thanks for your sevice.
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Old 05-28-2022, 08:02 AM   #7
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Is VA Health for anyone who has served or only disabled? And as for PSA covered or not by Medicare, mine has always been covered.
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Old 05-28-2022, 08:05 AM   #8
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Don't feel guilty about misplaced resources. If you have no claims, VA will bill any private insurance you have. When I lived in PA, the Lebanon VA begged me to come to them rather than the doctors at Penn State Hershey MC. I would avoid any VA CBOC. Your experience may vary.
When CV19 was full-blown the PSHMC was doing telemedicine and VA Lebanon was open for in person visits. Telemedicine sucks!
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Old 05-28-2022, 08:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbleiweiss View Post
Is VA Health for anyone who has served or only disabled? And as for PSA covered or not by Medicare, mine has always been covered.
If you served you have the right to use VA even if not disabled.
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Old 05-28-2022, 08:20 AM   #10
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I am a 30 year retiree with a VA disability rating of 90%. I haven't set foot in a VA facility since my retirement processing 7 years ago.

I have nothing against VA healthcare, however, it is easier to use Tricare Prime retired for both my wife and I than have two different healthcare plans.
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Old 05-28-2022, 10:12 AM   #11
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Over the years I had medical check-ups by three entities, USFHP/Tri-care, VA, and NASA. One year only one of them caught the condition that needed attention on the annual physical. All would send messages saying, come on in for physical. I'm glad I had the option of three. Now, only two but I do get physicals from TriCare and the VA. One never knows what one may find and the other not.

They are free for you, go for it!

If you are taking any medications, VA is free, TriCare has a co-pay.
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Old 05-28-2022, 11:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NomadBD View Post
I am a 30 year retiree with a VA disability rating of 90%. I haven't set foot in a VA facility since my retirement processing 7 years ago.

I have nothing against VA healthcare, however, it is easier to use Tricare Prime retired for both my wife and I than have two different healthcare plans.
Yeah Buddy, same here, we both retired squids and use the navy hospital on Lejeune.
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Old 05-28-2022, 11:28 AM   #13
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I've had excellent care at the Tucson VA medical center. It's another story with the Los Angeles VA medical system.
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Old 05-29-2022, 11:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbleiweiss View Post
Is VA Health for anyone who has served or only disabled? And as for PSA covered or not by Medicare, mine has always been covered.
Generally speaking VA care is available for any honorably discharged veteran, but there are income restrictions. When I was working I was not eligible but once I retired and my income dropped substantially then my status changed and put me in a classification where I paid $15 to see my PCP and $50 for specialty visits. Then, once I got approved for disability I changed once again to where I now pay nothing for all visits.
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