Based on news reports, governmental and community responses to Harvey have been robust so far (LINK). There isn’t much space between Harvey and Irma, and although Jose may not become a hurricane, it’s still worrisome. It is no exaggeration or cliche to say that this hurricane season may be of (almost) biblical proportions.
About 175,000 veterans in the Houston area enrolled in VHA out of 500,00 local veterans (Military.com -LINK). It’s hard to know how many of them have lost loved ones, pets, homes, vehicles, or businesses. Some will have their benefits delayed, records misplaced or destroyed and numerous other extraordinary hardships and mishaps. The VA posts updates on their activities on the VAntage blog (LINK). Irma (LINK). Harvey (LINK).
“If you are a Hurricane Harvey affected Veteran and needing urgent care, go to your nearest provider and VA will take care of the bill – this is through Choice.”
Annapurni Teague, associate chief of staff for outpatient care, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (LINK)
Time will tell. Since enrollment is based on lower incomes for the most part, not on having served their country–as many in the civilian public believe–many vets in need of care can be turned away.
Everyone is at risk for serious exposure to toxins such as molds after events like this, especially if they attempt to remediate their homes rather than raze and rebuild. (USA Today story– LINK)
The City of Houston tracks daily mold and pollen counts.
This brings to mind an important benefit for veterans eligible to be enrolled by VA health care: Allergy testing and treatments. Many large VA medical centers have allergy clinics and I assume that Choice will cover the services available at those VHAs.
Many veterans with private insurance have large co-pays, deductibles and/or treatment limitations or no coverage at all. Medicare does not cover allergy testing without medically necessarily indications. For a list of covered and limitations, this webpage provides a comprehensive list (LINK) of medical codes.
So stay safe and let’s hope for a continued compassionate professional response in the aftermath of Hurricane Season 2017 because hurricane fatigue may settle in as the weeks and months continue. If anyone at Asknod has had allergy-related ( ex. bad mold issues) information or insurance stories to share, please comment!