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The Veterans Identification Act of 2015 became a law on July 20th, 2015. The law states that new health identification cards will be issued to veterans. The cards will be available in 2017 and will cost a fee. The purpose of the Act is to simplify the check-in and identification process at VA health appointments, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. It is not a credit card or an insurance card, and it does not authorize or pay for care at non-VA facilities. Due to the ongoing concern of security, the new card does not contain personal identifying information on the card’s face, such as, date of birth, and social security numbers. The new card replaces the need of veterans to carry their DD-214 discharge papers with them.
Summary of the Act
The Act itself specifically describes the following:
Previous cards were issued to veterans who completed the time requirement for retirement or who were medical-related discharged. If that criteria was not met, there was no way to identify veterans, other than with the DD-214 form. Because of the impracticality of carrying the DD-214 form to identify the veteran’s status, this card was created so as to provide a useful way for veterans to identify themselves so they can participate in promotion sales and discounts of goods and services provided by public and private institutions offered specifically to veterans.
Skilled Home Health Care (SHHC) Services
SHHC is a short-term health care service that can be provided to individuals who are homebound or live relatively far from the VA. Care is delivered by a community based health agency that is under contract with the VA. Generally, SHHC provides services for individuals who need skilled services, case management, and assistance with daily living.
Hospice is a comfort based form of care, for individuals who have been diagnosed with a terminal condition, and only have 6 months or less to live. The service entails treatment that relieves suffering and helps control symptoms- using methods that respect an individual’s personal, cultural, and religious beliefs and practices. In addition, they provide grief counseling for your family.
· Copay may be required for Veteran’s who require treatment of non-service connected issues.
· While most Veterans qualify for cost-free health care services, most must complete an annual financial assessment to determine if they qualify for cost-free services.
The Veterans Health Benefits Guide provides general information about VA Medical Benefits.
The VA produces information booklets specifically tailored to each Veteran enrolled in the VA health care program.
The booklets provide information in regards to:
· Contact information for the Veteran’s local healthcare facility
· Instructions on scheduling appointments
· Guidelines for community treatment needs
· Explanation of Veterans responsibility (i.e. Co-pay) if applicable
Handbooks will be distributed starting in February 2012, and will be based on Priority Group (Starting with Priority Group 1 and ending with Priority group 8).
· Any individual who has served in the active military and has been separated from the service (excluding a dishonorable discharge) is eligible for health benefits.
· Current and former members of the Army Reserve and National Guard who were called into duty by a federal order and completed their full period of service are also eligible.
· Reserves and National Guard members with active duty for training purposes do not meet requirements.