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Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomeHealth & FitnessVA Health – Hospice

VA Health – Hospice

As I near the three-year mark as a CVSO, it has been an honor and privilege to serve so many Veterans and their families. It also weighs heavily on me, as I remember those no longer with us. For me, a nearly daily reminder of our mortality. While our futures may be a difficult topic, I think it is important to have candid con­versations in preparation to ease our burdens during a time of transition. A familiar topic of my articles, VA health care, may provide a solu­tion to an end-of-life service required by a Vet­eran. I am referring to hospice care.

I think this is my eleventh article about VA health care. I will provide a quick review so you don’t have to grab the scrapbook and re-read previous articles. You can apply online or by completing VA Form 10-10EZ. Your CVSO can assist with the application. You will need your DD-214, health insurance cards and previous year’s financials. Upon enrollment in VA health care, you will receive a benefits package with your priority group and explanation of individ­ual benefits. Contact your preferred VA medical center or clinic to make an appointment and start using VA health care.

Another quick reminder, I am not a medical professional. Definitions vary, this is about VA health, and here is their answer to “What is hos­pice care?”. Comfort care provide to Veterans and their families if the Veteran has a terminal condition, with less than 6 months to live, and is no longer seeking treatment other than palliative care. Hospice care may be provided at home, in an outpatient clinic or in an inpatient setting.

Hospice care is part of the Veterans Health Ad­ministration Standard Medical Benefits Package. All enrolled Veterans are eligible for hospice care if they meet the clinical need for the service. There are no copays for hospice care, whether it is provided by VA or an organization with a VA contract. If you are a Veteran actively enrolled in VA health and have a medical need, then you are eligible for hospice care at no cost. Hospice care may also be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. I think it is good to have op­tions, especially a free one like VA health.

Please do not delay in applying for VA health care, or any Veterans benefits for that matter. Ad­ditional time is not something where your CVSO is able to assist.

Brad Anderson is the Lake County Veterans Ser­vice Officer and can be reached at 218.834.8326, or cvso@co.lake.mn.us   

Karen Christianson is the Cook County Vet­erans Service Officer and can be reached at 218.387.3639, or karen.christianson@co.cook.mn.us

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