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[Equipment] Does Anyone Use VA Healthcare?
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ZZDave Offline

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Post: #11
RE: Does Anyone Use VA Healthcare?
(10-05-2013 12:40 AM)s5mons Wrote:  
(10-04-2013 09:15 AM)me50 Wrote:  
(10-04-2013 09:11 AM)ZZDave Wrote:  That's good to know. I doubt that I will be leaving the US of A. and haven't considered signing up for Tricare but everyone I know here that has Tricare is retired military, like you, so that might not be an option for me. I'll give them a phone call and get more info on Tricare. Thanks.

care at the VA hospital/clinic scares me. I don't know much about Tricare but I would think an independent insurance carrier would offer a little more security than just relying on the VA.

That really depends on the VA hospital and even then clinic to clinic.

I worked for several years in the Albany NY VAMC in the IT department and saw it all there. Some clinics I would have no problem going to while others there would be no chance. I guess that all comes down to funding and on what clinic they want to spend money on.

Tricare basically acts like a private insurer. In the US I was able to get seen by any doctor that accepted it (which is most) and as long as my primary care manager referred me to a specialist, Tricare had no issue with it. Now that I'm back overseas it is quite different. I have to file a claim with them and then cross my fingers hoping it will be accepted. If it is, I'm subject to an annual deductible and 30% comes out of my pocket. With the dollar so weak and everything here in Euros, it is quite expensive waiting for them to reimburse you the 70%. My last claim took 7 months.

If you have any service connected issues I believe that the VA will cover those. From what I've heard, Bay Pines is a nice facility and the VAMC in Orlando is new and a state of the art hospital.

:)Thanks for the info and now I understand why some vets I talked with raved about the Orlando VA Hospital. When I was discharged I went back home first to Cleveland, Ohio in the mid-1970's and it was a pretty bleak place. Add to that the number of wounded vets coming in from Vietnam and I just couldn't take it. I was young and healthy so didn't need to be there.
Found out that I can enroll in Tricare but there's the cost of being in it that I can't afford.
Yes, as someone else wrote: Medicare can only take $105.00 from ones SS check...for me that's 10%! I've tried to argue with the SS people here because I don't think they're giving me a fair deal but haven't succeeded. So, that's one good reason to go back to the VA because it would raise my "income" by more than 10%!
10-05-2013 05:57 AM
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me50 Offline

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Post: #12
RE: Does Anyone Use VA Healthcare?
(10-05-2013 05:57 AM)ZZDave Wrote:  
(10-05-2013 12:40 AM)s5mons Wrote:  
(10-04-2013 09:15 AM)me50 Wrote:  care at the VA hospital/clinic scares me. I don't know much about Tricare but I would think an independent insurance carrier would offer a little more security than just relying on the VA.

That really depends on the VA hospital and even then clinic to clinic.

I worked for several years in the Albany NY VAMC in the IT department and saw it all there. Some clinics I would have no problem going to while others there would be no chance. I guess that all comes down to funding and on what clinic they want to spend money on.

Tricare basically acts like a private insurer. In the US I was able to get seen by any doctor that accepted it (which is most) and as long as my primary care manager referred me to a specialist, Tricare had no issue with it. Now that I'm back overseas it is quite different. I have to file a claim with them and then cross my fingers hoping it will be accepted. If it is, I'm subject to an annual deductible and 30% comes out of my pocket. With the dollar so weak and everything here in Euros, it is quite expensive waiting for them to reimburse you the 70%. My last claim took 7 months.

If you have any service connected issues I believe that the VA will cover those. From what I've heard, Bay Pines is a nice facility and the VAMC in Orlando is new and a state of the art hospital.

:)Thanks for the info and now I understand why some vets I talked with raved about the Orlando VA Hospital. When I was discharged I went back home first to Cleveland, Ohio in the mid-1970's and it was a pretty bleak place. Add to that the number of wounded vets coming in from Vietnam and I just couldn't take it. I was young and healthy so didn't need to be there.
Found out that I can enroll in Tricare but there's the cost of being in it that I can't afford.
Yes, as someone else wrote: Medicare can only take $105.00 from ones SS check...for me that's 10%! I've tried to argue with the SS people here because I don't think they're giving me a fair deal but haven't succeeded. So, that's one good reason to go back to the VA because it would raise my "income" by more than 10%!

Have you applied for "Extra Help" that reduces your premiums, your deductibles, your prescription costs, etc.? Also, you can keep regular medicare and get medigap if you are 65 or older OR you can get medicare advantage that is very inexpensive. For example, in my state, there is a medicare advantage plan with zero premiums and is an ideal plan for veterans and the like. These plans pick up what medicare doesn't pay. Plan coverage is different in each state but it is worth checking it out. Open enrollment is going on now through December 7. If you have an interest in this, I will help you as much as I can.
10-05-2013 06:35 AM
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archangle Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Does Anyone Use VA Healthcare?
About 6 years ago, I talked my dad into getting checked for apnea. It was bleedingly obvious he had it from hearing him sleep.

He went to the VA, and they did a test and confirmed sleep apnea. They wanted to do UPPP or some sort of surgery. Luckily, one of his civilian doctors put a stop to that.

After that, they gave him a legacy Respironics Auto. They actually monitored the data and changed his pressure settings based on the card.

They didn't give him a humidifier at first. I pointed out the Oracle mask he was using said a humidifier was required, and they got him one.

He tried out a lot of different masks.

So, it was a bit of a mixed bag. The UPPP and humidifier were wrong, but at least he got a data capable CPAP and they did actually monitor and adjust.

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10-05-2013 07:16 AM
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ZZDave Offline

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Post: #14
RE: Does Anyone Use VA Healthcare?
(10-05-2013 07:16 AM)archangle Wrote:  About 6 years ago, I talked my dad into getting checked for apnea. It was bleedingly obvious he had it from hearing him sleep.

He went to the VA, and they did a test and confirmed sleep apnea. They wanted to do UPPP or some sort of surgery. Luckily, one of his civilian doctors put a stop to that.

After that, they gave him a legacy Respironics Auto. They actually monitored the data and changed his pressure settings based on the card.

They didn't give him a humidifier at first. I pointed out the Oracle mask he was using said a humidifier was required, and they got him one.

He tried out a lot of different masks.

So, it was a bit of a mixed bag. The UPPP and humidifier were wrong, but at least he got a data capable CPAP and they did actually monitor and adjust.

I have an appointment the 15th of this month at Bay Pines with a doctor re: my apnea. So will find out then if they can help me. I just got the S9 machine, etc. at end of July and because of the Smart Card the doctor told me I had leaks from the mouth.
This is funny: I had been using a nasal mask and the Dr. told me to get a chin strap after the first 30 days with the new machine. It was uncomfortable having both on my head, then at the next appt. he said I was still leaking even though the AHI was zero, he said to put wide tape over my mouth! That was ridiculous and was waking me up so he finally wrote a script for a FF mask which is comfortable and
works great!
Not funny part: Believe it or not...it has taken over 10 years and changing doctors about every 2 years to reach this point where everything works! I don't know why previous "sleep d/o doctors" could not figure this out and get me a better machine to start out with. Is this technology so new (I mean Smart Card) that it wasn't available?
10-05-2013 09:20 AM
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ZZDave Offline

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Posts: 11
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Machine: ResMed S9
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Mask Make & Model: ResMed Mirage Quatro
Humidifier: ResMed H5i
CPAP Pressure: 6 to 14
CPAP Software: ResScan

Other Comments:

Sex: Male
Location: sarasota, florida

Post: #15
RE: Does Anyone Use VA Healthcare?
(10-05-2013 06:35 AM)me50 Wrote:  
(10-05-2013 05:57 AM)ZZDave Wrote:  
(10-05-2013 12:40 AM)s5mons Wrote:  That really depends on the VA hospital and even then clinic to clinic.

I worked for several years in the Albany NY VAMC in the IT department and saw it all there. Some clinics I would have no problem going to while others there would be no chance. I guess that all comes down to funding and on what clinic they want to spend money on.

Tricare basically acts like a private insurer. In the US I was able to get seen by any doctor that accepted it (which is most) and as long as my primary care manager referred me to a specialist, Tricare had no issue with it. Now that I'm back overseas it is quite different. I have to file a claim with them and then cross my fingers hoping it will be accepted. If it is, I'm subject to an annual deductible and 30% comes out of my pocket. With the dollar so weak and everything here in Euros, it is quite expensive waiting for them to reimburse you the 70%. My last claim took 7 months.

If you have any service connected issues I believe that the VA will cover those. From what I've heard, Bay Pines is a nice facility and the VAMC in Orlando is new and a state of the art hospital.

:)Thanks for the info and now I understand why some vets I talked with raved about the Orlando VA Hospital. When I was discharged I went back home first to Cleveland, Ohio in the mid-1970's and it was a pretty bleak place. Add to that the number of wounded vets coming in from Vietnam and I just couldn't take it. I was young and healthy so didn't need to be there.
Found out that I can enroll in Tricare but there's the cost of being in it that I can't afford.
Yes, as someone else wrote: Medicare can only take $105.00 from ones SS check...for me that's 10%! I've tried to argue with the SS people here because I don't think they're giving me a fair deal but haven't succeeded. So, that's one good reason to go back to the VA because it would raise my "income" by more than 10%!

Have you applied for "Extra Help" that reduces your premiums, your deductibles, your prescription costs, etc.? Also, you can keep regular medicare and get medigap if you are 65 or older OR you can get medicare advantage that is very inexpensive. For example, in my state, there is a medicare advantage plan with zero premiums and is an ideal plan for veterans and the like. These plans pick up what medicare doesn't pay. Plan coverage is different in each state but it is worth checking it out. Open enrollment is going on now through December 7. If you have an interest in this, I will help you as much as I can.

Well, it must be a "Florida thing" because I do get the Extra Help but it's only for the prescription drugs. As far as I can tell, Florida didn't want to be part of any Federal Program telling them what to do; this I got from reading the newspaper. I used to get limited Medicaid benefits until this year. Florida is one of those States that doesn't want Medicaid; I've seen a progressive change over the years that has reduced spending and benefits on Medicaid. Re: Supplemental insurance; I found that through AARP I could get a supplemental plan through United Healthcare that would pay for many things and it was relatively inexpensive so if the VA can't take care of me 100% then I'll do that.
10-05-2013 09:37 AM
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me50 Offline

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Mask Type: Nasal mask
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CPAP Software: SleepyHead

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Post: #16
RE: Does Anyone Use VA Healthcare?
(10-05-2013 09:37 AM)ZZDave Wrote:  
(10-05-2013 06:35 AM)me50 Wrote:  
(10-05-2013 05:57 AM)ZZDave Wrote:  :)Thanks for the info and now I understand why some vets I talked with raved about the Orlando VA Hospital. When I was discharged I went back home first to Cleveland, Ohio in the mid-1970's and it was a pretty bleak place. Add to that the number of wounded vets coming in from Vietnam and I just couldn't take it. I was young and healthy so didn't need to be there.
Found out that I can enroll in Tricare but there's the cost of being in it that I can't afford.
Yes, as someone else wrote: Medicare can only take $105.00 from ones SS check...for me that's 10%! I've tried to argue with the SS people here because I don't think they're giving me a fair deal but haven't succeeded. So, that's one good reason to go back to the VA because it would raise my "income" by more than 10%!

Have you applied for "Extra Help" that reduces your premiums, your deductibles, your prescription costs, etc.? Also, you can keep regular medicare and get medigap if you are 65 or older OR you can get medicare advantage that is very inexpensive. For example, in my state, there is a medicare advantage plan with zero premiums and is an ideal plan for veterans and the like. These plans pick up what medicare doesn't pay. Plan coverage is different in each state but it is worth checking it out. Open enrollment is going on now through December 7. If you have an interest in this, I will help you as much as I can.

Well, it must be a "Florida thing" because I do get the Extra Help but it's only for the prescription drugs. As far as I can tell, Florida didn't want to be part of any Federal Program telling them what to do; this I got from reading the newspaper. I used to get limited Medicaid benefits until this year. Florida is one of those States that doesn't want Medicaid; I've seen a progressive change over the years that has reduced spending and benefits on Medicaid. Re: Supplemental insurance; I found that through AARP I could get a supplemental plan through United Healthcare that would pay for many things and it was relatively inexpensive so if the VA can't take care of me 100% then I'll do that.

Just remember the deadline for supplemental, etc. is dec. 7 and if you don't go that route, you have to wait until next October. One thing that you may not know is that when you get extra help, you can change your plan every 30 days. If you are not getting a reduction in your insurance premiums this year, I would ask why you didn't. I get a reduction in my premiums b/c I get extra help.

Maybe they will discover they overcharged you and they will reimburse you for the overpayments. One can hope.
10-05-2013 09:58 AM
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Sevensox Offline

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Post: #17
RE: Does Anyone Use VA Healthcare?
I'm sorry but I just do not use the VA for anything. The hire the lowest bidders and I do not find that comforting nor reassuring.
Lee
10-05-2013 10:54 AM
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me50 Offline

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Post: #18
RE: Does Anyone Use VA Healthcare?
(10-05-2013 10:54 AM)Sevensox Wrote:  I'm sorry but I just do not use the VA for anything. The hire the lowest bidders and I do not find that comforting nor reassuring.
Lee

I know someone that was diagnosed in the military as having PTSD when actually he is bipolar. I know this can and does happen outside of the military. I have just seen so many horror stories with the VA that I am bothered by the treatment that is received, especially for inpatient care.

I have seen some good things happen like a friend of mine's daughter that had to have a hole in her heart closed and that was a favorable outcome but it is inpatient care that really concerns me a lot. Outpatient care concerns me too but there is always an option to see an outside doctor if a patient is concerned about their treatment
10-05-2013 11:04 AM
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ZZDave Offline

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Post: #19
RE: Does Anyone Use VA Healthcare?
(10-05-2013 10:54 AM)Sevensox Wrote:  I'm sorry but I just do not use the VA for anything. The hire the lowest bidders and I do not find that comforting nor reassuring.
Lee

I know about that, it became a huge problem, I checked on that specific issue and found that, at least at most VA Hospitals the pay has been corrected to meet current pay for all positions.
Back in 1999 my father had a heart attack and was taken to James Haley VA Hospital in Tampa. Knowing about the VA problems, I drove there and stayed at a motel nearby so that I could make them aware that someone was watching. I immediately discovered that they had not looked at or found his current medical situation from his doctors that were outside the VA system which would have effected his treatment there. Once that was corrected his operation went well but there were some "foreigners" on his team that I was suspicious of. Yes, in the past, many doctors and staff that were born and educated outside the US of A were hired by the VA because they would accept the low pay and it gave them a chance to become US Citizens. That's not done anymore. I feel like I'm having to be 'defensive' on this subject; if anyone has doubts about the VA they should check it out for themselves. I even went back to Bay Pines and was escorted by a clinical Social Worker through much of the property so that I could see for myself how it had changed. They didn't have to do that for me; it demonstrates their changed attitude/policy. In summation all I can say is: "don't knock it until you've tried it".
10-06-2013 08:38 AM
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ZZDave Offline

Members

Posts: 11
Joined: Sep 2013

Machine: ResMed S9
Mask Type: Full face mask
Mask Make & Model: ResMed Mirage Quatro
Humidifier: ResMed H5i
CPAP Pressure: 6 to 14
CPAP Software: ResScan

Other Comments:

Sex: Male
Location: sarasota, florida

Post: #20
RE: Does Anyone Use VA Healthcare?
Thanks
(10-05-2013 09:58 AM)me50 Wrote:  
(10-05-2013 09:37 AM)ZZDave Wrote:  
(10-05-2013 06:35 AM)me50 Wrote:  Have you applied for "Extra Help" that reduces your premiums, your deductibles, your prescription costs, etc.? Also, you can keep regular medicare and get medigap if you are 65 or older OR you can get medicare advantage that is very inexpensive. For example, in my state, there is a medicare advantage plan with zero premiums and is an ideal plan for veterans and the like. These plans pick up what medicare doesn't pay. Plan coverage is different in each state but it is worth checking it out. Open enrollment is going on now through December 7. If you have an interest in this, I will help you as much as I can.

Well, it must be a "Florida thing" because I do get the Extra Help but it's only for the prescription drugs. As far as I can tell, Florida didn't want to be part of any Federal Program telling them what to do; this I got from reading the newspaper. I used to get limited Medicaid benefits until this year. Florida is one of those States that doesn't want Medicaid; I've seen a progressive change over the years that has reduced spending and benefits on Medicaid. Re: Supplemental insurance; I found that through AARP I could get a supplemental plan through United Healthcare that would pay for many things and it was relatively inexpensive so if the VA can't take care of me 100% then I'll do that.

Just remember the deadline for supplemental, etc. is dec. 7 and if you don't go that route, you have to wait until next October. One thing that you may not know is that when you get extra help, you can change your plan every 30 days. If you are not getting a reduction in your insurance premiums this year, I would ask why you didn't. I get a reduction in my premiums b/c I get extra help.

Maybe they will discover they overcharged you and they will reimburse you for the overpayments. One can hope.

Thanks I will call Medicare today as well as investigate any other avenues. I do feel "ripped off" and want an answer to this. Social Security used to give me 100% Extra Help then changed it to 75% after I got a measly increase from them. I even had to go through all kinds of paperwork and even a telephone 'inquisition' about this with someone that wouldn't disclose what gov't agency he worked for. I suspected that it was the ACHA that was behind all of it because the local SS Branch Manager denied, in writing, that the SS was not involved in lowering my "Extra Help". Recently, I was sent a form by SS that was aimed at determining whether or not I should get "Extra Help". My SS income has effectively stayed the same, or gone down, due to the increase in prices of everything and the changes of the Poverty Index.
10-06-2013 08:56 AM
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