When my husband first retired from work, he thought about signing up for veteran’s benefits, but at the time our combined income put us above the financial limit. Time has passed and so has our resources, the year we were visiting a hospital on a regular basis because of the ulcer on my leg, he decided to investigate veteran’s benefits again. The VA center we visited was able to sign him up for enrollment via the computer. Even though he no longer had his dog tags and his military cards disappeared somewhere along the way, he was enrolled. He planned to get hearing aids but time passed and visiting the veteran’s office didn’t fit into our time table. I stopped in one time to inquire and left with a business card with their phone number. The last straw occurred this year when his company dropped health insurance and his prescriptions put him into the GAP. We were pleasantly surprised when he called for an appointment. He was given an appointment within two weeks of calling.
I’m sure one of the reasons he put off going for so long was because he remembered the waiting time when he was in the service. After getting the appointment, he had enough time to get copies of his medical records from his primary doctor. Since the VA hospital is more than 30 miles from our house, he is able to keep his doctors. That was one of my concerns. He has a good relationship with ALL of his doctors and it is important to me that we can reach medical assistance in a timely fashion if it is needed.
When we visited the VA clinic, the doctor determined that he needed to see other specialists besides his hearing aids and ordered various tests. She said we might not hear anything before a month passed. It was a VERY, FAST MONTH. The next day we had appointments scheduled for two of his tests. Sadly, all of the medications that he takes is not on the VA recommended list. We have an appointment with his primary to discuss our plan of action.
My main reason for sharing this information is to help anyone who is sitting on the fence wondering if they should sign up. We went to the VA on Tuesday, Thursday of that week we were at the lake enjoying the last 70 degree day — letting Robin play with other dogs. My husband sat on a bench talking to another veteran who had NOT signed up for health care. The man had heard good things about the hospital that is in our network. The gentleman didn’t know where his paperwork was and was happy to hear that because of the computer age, he didn’t need it.