AARP Launches Tool to Help Veterans Access Health Care | Health Info


CONCORD – AARP has launched a new tool to bring together information and resources to help veterans, military families and their caregivers navigate their health care options.

The Veterans and Military Families Health Benefits Navigator provides veterans with information about what is required to qualify for health care benefits from the US Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense.

“Now more than ever, veterans and military families need help accessing the health care benefits they have earned by serving our country,” said AARP NH Director Todd Fahey . “This one-time, free resource will help make the process less confusing and less overwhelming for veterans and military families as they navigate their options.”

Even before the pandemic, veterans and their families struggled with where to start when deciding the best path for their health care needs: VA health care, Military Tricare, Medicare, private insurance, or Medicaid.

Recently, more than 340,000 veterans have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and VA medical centers have reported nearly 15,000 deaths from the disease. Additionally, of the 112,790 veterans living in New Hampshire, only 25 percent used their benefits in VA health care, according to the US Census Bureau.

The AARP Veterans and Military Families Health Benefits Navigator can help families:

• Learn more about the health benefits provided by the VA and DoD.

• Understand how to apply for and enroll in VA health care.

• Identify how to obtain assistance from representatives who have experience and knowledge of the VA process for granting benefits.

Almost 60 percent of veterans are eligible for VA health care services, while less than half of those eligible veterans use VA health benefits, according to a RAND study. Yet the quality of care provided by VA is generally equal to or better than that provided in the private sector. A misunderstanding or frustration with the application process causes many veterans to simply forgo VA health benefits. Often times, confusion over qualification requirements prevents veterans from receiving their health benefits.

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