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Veterans, Military Families Acquire Easier Access to Health Care

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Wednesday, November 10, 2021   

AUSTIN, Texas -- Newly returned veterans or even those who've been back for years face obstacles, and a big one is how to pick the best health care.

A new navigation tool is designed to help.

John Vasquez, state president of AARP Texas, said there are more than 17-million veterans in the U.S., and even before the COVID-19 pandemic they and their families struggled to decide which health-care option would serve them best.

He pointed out despite their service to the country, too many veterans are not getting the health care they've earned.

"You know, 60% of all veterans are eligible for V.A. health-care services," Vasquez explained. "Less than half of those eligible veterans actually use V.A. health benefits, according to a Rand study."

AARP has introduced a new navigator tool to help veterans and their families determine their health-care needs. More information and other resources for veterans are at: aarp.org/veterans.

With more than 340,000 veterans diagnosed with COVID-19 and almost 15,000 deaths reported by the V.A. medical centers, access to health care is a growing concern.

Vasquez noted to use the navigation tool, veterans do not have to be a member of AARP.

"What that tool does, is it will help you learn about the health care benefits that are provided through the V.A., and through the Department of Defense, also to understand how to apply and enroll in V.A. health care," Vasquez outlined.

In addition to health-benefit possibilities, the 28-page step-by-step tool shows veterans how to identify representatives who have experience and knowledge to answer common questions that will help them.

Disclosure: AARP Texas contributes to our fund for reporting on Energy Policy, Health Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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