Voice of the Veterans | Community | pdclarion.com – To world

Have you heard of the Missions Act 2018? If not, it’s time to get on board and get acquainted.

With its passage, Congress opened up a host of new options that allow eligible veterans greater access to community health care outside of formal VA facilities. Although this legislation has many facets, today we will only focus on urgent care. Acute care within the meaning of the VA is the treatment of minor injuries and illnesses that are not life-threatening. Examples include colds, sore throats, sprained muscles, and skin and ear infections.

To be eligible for emergency care, a Veteran must be enrolled and active in the VA Health Care System. Active is defined as having received health care directly from the VA in the past 24 months.

Failure to service veterans in the past 24 months does not result in veterans being removed from the system, but places them in an inactive status and jeopardizes their ability to receive those services.

The easiest way to stay enrolled and in good standing is to simply schedule an annual checkup with your VA GP. A quick call to (800) MyVA411 (800-698-2411) will confirm whether or not you are eligible for urgent care services.

The next important thing to understand is your health priority group. There are eight groups that determine exactly what care one is entitled to and the applicability of co-payments, if any.

While I can help you determine which group you “should” belong to, it would be wise to contact the VA Clinic Eligibility Office (812.465-6202, ext. 73707) directly to confirm that you are in the correct group assigned. Once the group is confirmed, the co-payment schedule is as follows:

• PRIORITY GROUPS 1-5 First three visits (per calendar year): $0

Fourth and subsequent visits: $30 per visit

• PRIORITY GROUP 6 If related to a covered condition, first 3 visits (per calendar year): $0

Fourth and subsequent visits: $30 per visit

• PRIORITY GROUP 7-8 $30 per visit (regardless of number of visits)

The last important thing to understand is that the veteran needs urgent care from a facility “on the network.” There are many throughout the tri-state area, but right now the only one in Gibson County is the Deaconess Clinic Express at 1414 Broadway St. in Princeton.


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