Providence VA Medical Center, Rhode Island
Veterans Health Benefits Handbook
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is producing a new, personalized Veterans Health Benefits Handbook for Veterans who are enrolled in the VA health care system. The handbooks are tailored to each Veteran, providing a current and understandable description of the benefits and responsibilities that specifically pertain to them. By providing each Veteran with a customized handbook, VA ensures the delivery of consistent information to Veterans and reduces the need for VA staff to continually interpret benefits.
Veterans Health Benefits Overview
What is the Veterans Health Benefits Handbook?
• It is a customized book created for each enrolled Veteran, which contains VA health care benefit information based on the Veteran’s specific eligibility factors, in an organized, easy to read format.
What is the Handbook’s purpose?
• The purpose of the Veterans Health Benefits Handbook is to provide a current and accurate description of all VA health care benefits available to each enrolled Veteran. In addition, the Handbook will provide contact information for the Veteran’s parent preferred facility and information regarding copayment responsibilities, how to schedule appointments, ways to communicating treatment needs, patient rights, how to obtain their medical records and other important information.
What are the benefits of the Handbook?
• By providing each enrolled Veteran with a customized Handbook, VA intends to remove subjectivity, ensure each Veteran receives a uniform delivery of information, and reduce the need for VA staff to continually interpret benefits for Veterans.
How and when will Veterans receive their first Handbook?
• The Handbook will be mailed to Veterans accompanied by a letter of introduction.
• Mail out by priority group for the general Veteran population nation-wide is scheduled to begin February 2012.
How long will it be before all enrolled Veterans receive their initial Handbook?
• We anticipate the initial mail-out process will take approximately 18 months to complete.
How often will a new version of the Handbook be published for each Veteran?
• Handbooks will be replaced every two years. Within the 2 year period, the Veteran will receive updates to the Handbook in the form of “Inserts” (letters) to reflect changes to their eligibility factors and preferred facility information.
What benefits does VA anticipate the Veteran will derive from the Handbook?
• Veteran will have an increased sense of being valued.
• Veteran will experience a sense of empowerment from knowing more about their benefits, which in turn will help them take a more active role in their VA health care.
• Veteran will gain a resource for current, accurate information.
• Facilitate the Veteran’s access to care by providing VA contact information and instructions regarding their eligibility to receive VA health care benefits.
• Encourage the Veteran to register and use the MyhealtheVet website and other VA portals.
What are the privacy issues associated with the Handbook?
• Each Handbook will contain the Veteran’s name and eligibility information. Therefore, Veterans are responsible for safeguarding their Handbook just as they would any other sensitive document containing personal information.
In addition to highlighting specific health benefits, the handbook also provides contact information for the Veteran's preferred local facility, ways to schedule personal appointments, guidelines for communicating treatment needs, and an explanation of the Veteran's responsibilities, such as copayments, if applicable.
For information about eligibility and enrollment at the Providence VAMC or one of its Community-Based Outpatient Clinics, please contact (401) 457-3300 or (866) 363-4486.