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Important information for Veterans

Dear Editor:
This letter is addressed to all veterans in Johnson County; your VA ID card is not a credit card nor an insurance card. It is bad that the VA doesn’t tell you this. But those of you that have the VA ID card if you will look on the back, it says very plainly “ Not a credit card or an insurance card”. If you have received your Veterans Benefits Hand Book from the VA then you need to pay close attention to pages no. 56 and 57. These two pages explain what the VA will pay, and what they will not pay in a private hospital or private emergency room, as well as any ambulance or rescue squad fees. If for an example you are 62 years old and have a heart attack and are being transferred to the Mountain Home VA, and you are deferred to the Johnson City Medical Center because the VA has no more room. You are liable for the rescue squad charges and all emergency room and hospital charges. But if you have no insurance at all, you would need to bring all your bills by the VA office here and we will file for reimbursements to the rescue squad and Johnson City Medical Center. There would be a very good chance that you would win this claim, as you had no insurance. The VA ask that they be notified and that you be transferred back to Mountain Home as soon as you are able to be transferred.
Okay same example as above, except you are 65 or older and on Medicare. You are diverted to Johnson City Medical Center. You are then responsible for the Medicare deductible of $1,100.00 and 20% of all the medical, transportation cost. Doctors charges and hospital charges. This could be quite expensive depending on how serious the medical situation is. The VA will fight it and usually not pay anything. They will use the “you have other insurance” (Medicare) clause; we do file these claims here but haven’t had to much success with them. There again VA wants to be notified, failure to do so could result in your loss of claim in both cases above.I am 71 years old and have VA and Medicare, but I also have a supplement policy from Humana that cost me nothing. You can buy the policy and spend as much as you would like depending on how much you want to owe the hospital. I pay nothing per month. The most that I would have to pay if this situation were to happen to me is $65.00 Emergency room visit. $200.00 Ambulance Service and $500.00 medical inpatient hospital care. My total charges for a two-week stay would be $700.00. If you are admitted from the emergency room then these $65.00 emergency room charges do not apply. Now the $1,100.00 deductible Is every 90 days, not once per year. So if this happened to you In January then again in July you would have to pay the deductible twice. Three times if you had it happens again in November. Of course for my regular health care and medications I use the VA. If you need an operation then let them schedule it. I have had very good treatment and care by the Doctors and Nurses down at Mountain Home. The only time we veterans need extra insurance help is in case of an emergency situation like a heart attack, or an automobile accident, etc. and are taken to a private non-VA hospital.
The VA sometimes will use outside Doctors and Hospitals for an operation or treatment. The VA handles these charges internally and you are not billed for these charges. If you have any questions or we can help you in any way please give us a call or just drop by we are hereto serve you. The enrollment period is only from October 14 to December 7! Sign up at the American Legion 318 North Church Street Mountain City, Tennessee 37683 on November 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM. Call 727-7929 for more information. We thank you for your service!

Johnson County Veteran Affairs
211 North Church Street (Heritage Hall)
Mountain City, Tn. 37683
(423) 727-7929- Ralph Hutto and Karen Manuel