A picture containing text, clipart

Description automatically generated

 

AARP Launches New Tool to Help Rhode Island’s Veterans Access Health Care

Of the 70,651 Ocean State veterans, only 27% have used their benefits

at VA health care, according to U.S. Census Bureau.

 

PROVIDENCEToday, AARP launched a new tool to bring together valuable 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 Rhode Island’s  veterans with critical information about what is required to qualify for health care benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or Department of Defense (DoD). 

 

“Now more than ever, veterans and military families need help accessing the health care benefits they earned serving our country,” said AARP Rhode Island State Director Catherine Taylor. “This free, one-stop resource will help make the process less confusing and overwhelming for veterans and military families as they navigate their options.”

 

Even before the pandemic, veterans and their families struggled with where to begin 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 has reported almost 15,000 deaths from the disease. In addition, of the 70,621veterans living in Rhode Island, only 27% have utilized their earned benefits at VA health care, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

 

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

  • Learn more about health benefits provided through the VA and DoD;
  • Understand how to apply for and enroll in VA health care; and 
  • Identify how to get help from representatives who have experience and knowledge of the VA’s process for awarding benefits.

     

    Nearly 60% of all veterans are eligible for VA healthcare services, while less than half of those eligible veterans use VA health benefits, according to a RAND study. Yet quality of care delivered by VA is generally equal to or better than care delivered in the private sector. A misunderstanding or frustration with the application process causes many veterans to simply forgo VA health benefits. Oftentimes, confusion about qualification requirements keeps veterans from receiving their health benefits.

     

AARP’s Veterans and Military Families Health Benefits Navigator is available at www.AARP.org/VetsHealthNavigator. For more information and other resources for veterans, visit www.aarp.org/veterans.

 

 
Today marks another step toward more COVID boosters for millions of people. A CDC panel begins meeting to offer its recommendations on another shot from Moderna and Johnson and Johnson. FDA advisors already signed off and full approval could happen at any moment.        The Senate is expected to make a move today on a voting rights bill. Lawmakers will hold a procedural vote despite Republican support. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says all 50 Democrats are on board but the bill needs 60 to agree in order to move forward.        Investigators are arriving in Texas today to piece together a plane crash where all 21 people on board survived. They all managed to escape on their own before the plane even left the runway. It rolled through a fence and burst into flames while taking off for a baseball game yesterday.        It's being reported that a man who allegedly raped a woman on a Pennsylvania train was in the country illegally. Officials say the woman was harassed by the suspect for about 40 minutes before he attacked her. It apparently happened in front of passengers who did nothing to help.       It may be harder to catch a yellow cab in New York City by the end of today. The New York Taxi Workers Alliance is set to begin a hunger strike this afternoon. Drivers hope it will force a new plan from City Hall to help them pay off what they owe on medallion loans.       A new law in Florida is affecting what kids read in Sarasota County schools. The school district says it removed a passage from a fifth grade textbook about a father and child attending a Black Lives Matter protest. It was replaced with a passage about a civil rights protest in the 1960s.