What Every Veteran Needs To Know: VA Health Care - Part 2 of a Series

Written by veterans  |  20. July 2007

Last week we introduce this series with some specific answers to general questions often asked and just as often misunderstood. This week we jump into one of the "meatiest" of topics - VA Health Care. VA Health Care VA Medical Centers and Community Based Outpatient Clinics VA Medical Centers provide a wide range of inpatient, outpatient and residential mental health services for veterans. VA Community Based Outpatient Clinics provide medical services and medication management for enrolled veterans. These services may include primary care, behavioral health care, and other special programs. Staff at these clinics can also provide assessment and referral to more specialized services in the community or at the nearest VA Medical Center. You may contact your nearest VA Medical Center for general information, or ask for the program representative for additional information about the programs offered. Locate a VA Medical Center or Clinic Website: http://www.va.gov/directory VA Health Benefits VA provides a standard enhanced health benefits plan available to all enrolled veterans and maintains an annual enrollment system to manage the provision of quality hospital and outpatient medical care and treatment. VA provides every active-duty service member, Reservist or National Guard member who serves in a theater of combat operations two years of free health care beginning on the date of discharge or release from service for all illnesses and injuries unless clearly unrelated to military service. At the end of the two-year period, these veterans have the same eligibility for VA medical care as veterans of earlier conflicts, and co-payment status will depend on whether illness or injury is found to be service-connected. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Provides a Number of Health Care Services Hospital, outpatient medical, nursing home, and community-based residential care Dental, pharmacy, mental health, and prosthetic services Medical evaluation for military service exposure to environmental hazards Readjustment counseling Alcohol and drug dependency treatment Sexual trauma counseling Specialized health care for women veterans Health and rehabilitation programs for homeless veterans Domiciliary For Information on Health Care Benefits And Services Telephone: (877) 222-8387 Website: http://www.va.gov/health For Information on Health Care Eligibility Telephone: (800) 929-8387 Website: http://www.va.gov/healtheligibility Online Application for Health Benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ) Website: https://www.1010ez.med.va.gov/sec/vha/1010ez VA Forms and Publications Website: http://www.va.gov/vaforms Locate a VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic Website: http://www.va.gov/directory VA Medical Centers Located in Our Area Website: http://www.va.gov/visns/visn03 VA New York Harbor Health Care System Brooklyn Campus 800 Poly Place Brooklyn, NY 11209 (718) 836-6600 Bronx VA Medical Center 130 W Kingsbridge Road Bronx, NY 10468 (718) 584-9000 VA New York Harbor Health Care System New York Campus 423 East 23rd Street New York, NY 10010 (212) 686-7500 St Albans Primary & Extended Care Center 179th St. and Linden Blvd. St. Albans, NY 11425 (718) 526-1000 VA Medical Center Northport 79 Middleville Road Northport, NY 11768 (631) 261-4400 Locate a VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic Website: http://www.va.gov/directory VA Community Based Outpatient Clinics Located in Our Area Bronx Brooklyn (Chapel Street) Harlem Islip Lindenhurst Lynbrook Patchogue Plainview Queens (Thomas P. Noonan) Riverhead Soho My HealtheVet My HealtheVet provides access to trusted health information, links to VA benefits and resources, a Personal Health Record, online VA prescription refills, and much more. In the future, registered users will be able to view appointments, copay balances, and key portions of their VA medical records online. Website: http://www.myhealth.va.gov Health Insurance TRICARE is a regionally managed health care program for active duty and retired members of the uniformed services, their families, and survivors. Telephone: (877) 874-2273 (TRICARE North Region) Website: http://www.tricare.osd.mil Health Care for Women Each VA Medical Center has a Women Veterans Program Manager (WVPM) who helps women understand their benefits, and coordinates their care. The Women Veterans Program Manager can assist women veterans in establishing their eligibility, understanding their benefits, and obtaining their health care in VA system. The Women Veterans Health Program provides a full range of medical and mental health services, including: Primary care Reproductive health Gynecology services Patient education Preventive health screening for breast cancer, cervical cancer and osteoporosis Screening, counseling, and treatment for sexual trauma, substance abuse, PTSD and domestic violence Vocational rehabilitation Homeless programs Transition assistance separating from military duty For more information contact your local VA Medical Center's Women Veterans Program Manager. Women Veterans Health Program Website: http://www.va.gov/wvhp The Center for Women Veterans Website: http://www.va.gov/womenvet DoD Deployment Health & Family Readiness Library This library provides servicemembers, families, veterans and health care providers an easy way to quickly find deployment health and family readiness information. Website: http://deploymenthealthlibrary.fhp.osd.mil Do Not Forget To find out more about what you might be entitled, contact a veterans service officer from the veteran service organization to which you are a member. You can also contact me at the Town of Oyster Bay's Veterans Services Division at (516) 733-8414. The Town of Oyster Bay is located in the VA's NY/NJ Veterans Healthcare Network - VISN 3 (Veterans Integrated Service Network 3). If you prefer, you can contact the VA directly. For information on Health Care Benefits and Services: Telephone: (877) 222-8387. For information on Monetary Benefits (Disability Compensation, Education, Loan Guaranty, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Insurance): Telephone: (800) 827-1000 P.S. To answer the question one might ask, "Why didn't you comment on Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Nicholson's resignation?" Who resigned just this week. Since we have no idea who will be his replacement, two thoughts come immediately to mind. Is it a matter of "Goodbye and Good Riddance!" Or, might it be "From the Frying Pan into the Fire!!!" Let's wait and see. --- Regards, Walt Schmidt

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