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Old 27th June 2019, 07:52 PM
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Default US veteran advise for Philippines

Hi, I am new here and did some quick post research and I did not find any current posts on the following things.
First a little about me.

American born
50+ age
100% disabled vet (TDIU)
I receive both comp and SSD
I am currently in the states
I receive all my medications and service through the VA (including non-service connection)
I do not pay no co-pay for anything
(believe due to the fact when I filed my claims I was not working so I was below poverty guidelines)
Other than the VA care, I am on SSD and could get care with my Medicare.
I have NO other medical insurance
I am coming by myself
I receive ALL my medicine from the VA though the mail
Not interested in the party scenes and clubs

1) I have read time and time again that the VA in Philippines does not provide services for non-service connected disabilities. This is of great concern because I have diabetes type 2 and I take 2 oral medications and a pen shot.
a) even though I currently get my non-service connected items taken care of by the VA, this will not grand-father me in the Philippines VA system?

2) Once I am enrolled in the the VA system in the Philippines, I understand that most times the VA will outsource my care.
a) What will they actually see me for at the clinic.. whats the purpose of the clinic in Manila if they outsource?
b) If I live in Cebu (for example) will i need to go to the clinic often? My understanding they will not pay for travel at all. That would leave me stuck close to Manila if I HAVE too go to the clinic often.
c) How would I receive my service connected medicines from the VA? My understanding that you can not trust the mail system their. Would I be buying my own service-connected medicine then reimbursed by the VA?
d) Back to my non-service connected issues, I receive ALLOT of non-service connected medications through the VA such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and of course diabetes. Would I still be covered for those medications if i had to buy them myself?

3) I would want to get the SRRV visa, but, I am not sure if I would qualify
The SRRV Human Touch seems to be the one I should get, but, it states I must have insurance which I do not have. So I do not think I qualify for the SRRV visa's at all. I am not healthy obviously and I am not a foreign national officer

4) I would like to live in close approximately of other military. I have heard there is a nice gated community with veterans in Philippines but do not know where or the name of it. I could live in Panay or Cebu area or even Luzon but not to close to Manila, probably north because of the quakes.

I have more questions, but can not think of them atm and got errands I need to get done.

I hope some people will chime in and give me some insights to my questions.
Thank You!

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Old 27th June 2019, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin53743 View Post
Hi, I am new here and did some quick post research and I did not find any current posts on the following things.
First a little about me.

American born
50+ age
100% disabled vet (TDIU)
I receive both comp and SSD
I am currently in the states
I receive all my medications and service through the VA (including non-service connection)
I do not pay no co-pay for anything
(believe due to the fact when I filed my claims I was not working so I was below poverty guidelines)
Other than the VA care, I am on SSD and could get care with my Medicare.
I have NO other medical insurance
I am coming by myself
I receive ALL my medicine from the VA though the mail
Not interested in the party scenes and clubs

1) I have read time and time again that the VA in Philippines does not provide services for non-service connected disabilities. This is of great concern because I have diabetes type 2 and I take 2 oral medications and a pen shot.
a) even though I currently get my non-service connected items taken care of by the VA, this will not grand-father me in the Philippines VA system?

2) Once I am enrolled in the the VA system in the Philippines, I understand that most times the VA will outsource my care.
a) What will they actually see me for at the clinic.. whats the purpose of the clinic in Manila if they outsource?
b) If I live in Cebu (for example) will i need to go to the clinic often? My understanding they will not pay for travel at all. That would leave me stuck close to Manila if I HAVE too go to the clinic often.
c) How would I receive my service connected medicines from the VA? My understanding that you can not trust the mail system their. Would I be buying my own service-connected medicine then reimbursed by the VA?
d) Back to my non-service connected issues, I receive ALLOT of non-service connected medications through the VA such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and of course diabetes. Would I still be covered for those medications if i had to buy them myself?

3) I would want to get the SRRV visa, but, I am not sure if I would qualify
The SRRV Human Touch seems to be the one I should get, but, it states I must have insurance which I do not have. So I do not think I qualify for the SRRV visa's at all. I am not healthy obviously and I am not a foreign national officer

4) I would like to live in close approximately of other military. I have heard there is a nice gated community with veterans in Philippines but do not know where or the name of it. I could live in Panay or Cebu area or even Luzon but not to close to Manila, probably north because of the quakes.

I have more questions, but can not think of them atm and got errands I need to get done.

I hope some people will chime in and give me some insights to my questions.
Thank You!
too much of a book for me but I will tell u this,,im also disabled vet and pay out of pocket for ALL my meds....12 pills a day and it isn't expensive at all. When im in phils I drop half of the meds bcause my diabetes drops to nothing there due to foods. Theres also tri care which many use but I can pay for my needs....if u want a really good va u must fly to guam
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Old 27th June 2019, 10:32 PM
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I’m not I. Your shoes, but lot of answers to these questions spread across the forum, but yep, sometimes hard to find. Medicare is WORTHLESS to you in Philippines as I understand it; so, scratch that and any benefits there. As for quakes? Can be far worse Outside MNL. I was there in ‘91 for Pinatubo and the devastating quake about 9-10 months earlier that collapsed buildings in Baguio. Then in southern Islands, have to account for Typhoons some locations, especially Super Typhoons like Yolanda and devastation to Leyte back then, and floods every year some places. All in all, not sure the RP , especially Provinces, is the place to be if have a whole lot of health problems, but Angeles supposed have good medical now as I understand it. Subic too? Lots of decent small cities in proximity to MNL when you need go there. You have Whole lot going on; so, think it through before hopping a plane to paradise.

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Old 28th June 2019, 08:23 AM
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There's a larger expat community in Subic and Angeles City but I'm not familar with them because I live near Los Banos Laguna but? I'll send you a couple of links to Veteran forums and I'll PM you so check your mail box you are new so I'm unsure if you can send me back a reply but after a few postings you'll be able to send PM's.

You'll probably find that your health improves once you get here, mine sure did and I was able to drop those dangerous medications and I think it's due to cooking your food fresh so most food items aren't refrigerated or frozen and also the warm friendly environment.

Welcome to the forum Kevin and hope to hear more from you. Oh don't forget you are a former Veteran so you qualify for SRRV for Veterans so the initial Visa cost is something like $1500 and then $300 a year, here's a couple of links http://www.philippineconsulatela.org...RRV-BY-PRA.pdf

Philippine Consulate Finder Map US, best to get this set up before coming here Embassy of the Philippines - Consulate Finder Map

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I am not a regulated immigration adviser. I am offering an opinion and not advice. Check here for professional help with the Philippine Bureau of Immigration PBI https://www.facebook.com/officialbureauofimmigration or Philippine Retirement Authority PRA for an SRRV Visa https://pra.gov.ph/contact/ Always stay alert and don't let your guard down.
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Old 28th June 2019, 10:05 AM
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Yes, I have heard medication and doctor visits are much cheaper. Since I take just about 30 medications is a good thing they are cheap. I can reduce some of those meds like ibuprofen for arthritis, but I will have to wait till I get there and experiment with the less required medications to see which ones I can do with out if necessary.
Thank you for the reply!

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Old 28th June 2019, 10:10 AM
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Yes, I was aware of no medicare unfortunately because that would of been a nice back up.
It is one and halve years before I jump to the Philippines as I square my finances away here in the states. So, I will be doing ALLOT of research into where the safest places to be for natural disasters and local crime. Granted no place is perfect, but, research will hopefully give tell me the better places to be. Which, is exactly why I have joined this site and others. Knowledge will always come in handy (hopefully I can retain it with my issues (lol))
Thank you for your reply!

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Old 28th June 2019, 10:30 AM
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[quote=M.C.A.;14896426]There's a larger expat community in Subic and Angeles City but I'm not familar with them because I live near Los Banos Laguna but? I'll send you a couple of links to Veteran forums and I'll PM you so check your mail box you are new so I'm unsure if you can send me back a reply but after a few postings you'll be able to send PM's.

Thank you for the links, I have already joined the first, and I just applied for the second.

You'll probably find that your health improves once you get here, mine sure did and I was able to drop those dangerous medications and I think it's due to cooking your food fresh so most food items aren't refrigerated or frozen and also the warm friendly environment.

I certainly hope so, that is partly why I coming there. I need to change my life style allot and i hope this move does just that!


Welcome to the forum Kevin and hope to hear more from you. Oh don't forget you are a former Veteran so you qualify for SRRV for Veterans so the initial Visa cost is something like $1500 and then $300 a year, here's a couple of links

Thank you again, I will probably post more as I research more into my move because I know I will have more questions than answers. As far as the $1500 visa I have looked into that and I do not believe I qualify unfortunately. Three reasons, 1) must be a retire, I am just a veteran of 10 years. 20 It states an officer, I was just a low life E-5, not an officer lol. 3) Ties to the military still, other than my VA hospital visits and my tan card, and compensation those are my only ties to the military currently.

Image showing exactly what you need to qualify for that particular visa. (Tried to post the link but I can not yet, will try to send it by private message.)


I will still look into it further and see if its just "language" or if they are looking for those specifics.

Philippine Consulate Finder Map US, best to get this set up before coming here

If I found out I do qualify I will need to look into the Chicago embassy, but I am not sure what I would need to do there yet. As far as I know I can not actually join a bank in Philippines (for the deposit of srrv visa). I believe JP Morgan Chase in New York "might" have it where I can do a deposit, but, thats far away and in the middle of New York, do not know if I really want to go there or not lol.

Thank you for your welcoming me into the community and your reply. I hope to hear more from you and the community!
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Old 28th June 2019, 10:41 AM
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1) I have read time and time again that the VA in Philippines does not provide services for non-service connected disabilities. This is of great concern because I have diabetes type 2 and I take 2 oral medications and a pen shot.
a) even though I currently get my non-service connected items taken care of by the VA, this will not grand-father me in the Philippines VA system?

Correct. Most veterans living in the PI are retired military and use Tricare as a back up for non SC meds/conditions. Tricare covers diabetic meds. Your Diabetic meds will be close to $400 to $500 a month out of pocket when you factor in the needles, meds, pens, test strips, doc visits.

2) Once I am enrolled in the the VA system in the Philippines, I understand that most times the VA will outsource my care.

Correct. It's not outsource. They tell you to use The VA Foreign Medical Program and you are on your own. You will need to read about and enroll in FMP. FMP takes care of SC conditions only. The VA clinic maintains a list of hospitals that accept FMP where you are seen for SC conditions and they bill FMP directly. Otherwise, at other places you pay out of pocket, file a claim and reimbursements are sent to you via US Treasures check that can take months.


a) What will they actually see me for at the clinic.. see me for at the clinic..

Your C-File will be transferred to The VARO Manila. Enroll in person, they assign a Doc who will see you every 6 months or so and help you with your SC conditions "ONLY". Meds may or may not be provided for SC conditions "ONLY". Sometimes they tell you they have no stock some times they do. Blood tests are done free so that's a plus.


whats the purpose of the clinic in Manila if they outsource?

They are funded fiscal year to fiscal year only and their services to US Vets are gradually becoming depleted and moving towards the FMP like all other countries. They take care of PI Scouts, US Embassy workers, some others.


b) If I live in Cebu (for example) will i need to go to the clinic often? My understanding they will not pay for travel at all. That would leave me stuck close to Manila if I HAVE too go to the clinic often.

Correct. They pay zero travel, zero hotel expenses etc. YOU pay all out of pocket.

c) How would I receive my service connected medicines from the VA? My understanding that you can not trust the mail system their.

They ship using Air21 (similar to FEDEX) VA Clinic to your door.

Would I be buying my own service-connected medicine then reimbursed by the VA?

Sometimes, yes, then file a claim with FMP.

d) Back to my non-service connected issues, I receive ALLOT of non-service connected medications through the VA such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and of course diabetes. Would I still be covered for those medications if i had to buy them myself?

Absolutely NO. You will pay out of pocket for all. As I said, most use Tricare as their back up.

3) I would want to get the SRRV visa, but, I am not sure if I would qualify
The SRRV Human Touch seems to be the one I should get, but, it states I must have insurance which I do not have. So I do not think I qualify for the SRRV visa's at all. I am not healthy obviously and I am not a foreign national officer.

Bring your DD214 to show, visit the SRRV in Manila and then immigration to discuss your best options.

4) I would like to live in close approximately of other military. I have heard there is a nice gated community with veterans in Philippines but do not know where or the name of it.

There are gated places in Angeles City with ex-Military. Expect to pay $$$$.

I could live in Panay or Cebu area or even Luzon but not to close to Manila, probably north because of the quakes.

Visit the PI Volcanology site. quakes occur everywhere in the PI. I highly suggest you visit the PI for several months before you make the permanent move. Visit the VA Clinic, locations, SRRV, immigration, etc.

Seems like many younger vets are showing up and living in the PI, most claim to have PTSD but they have no back up plans, no coverage for non SC conditions, no plan if their rating gets reduced or taken away. Have a back up exit plan if you do move here. it's not for everyone.

Best wishes.
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Old 28th June 2019, 12:52 PM
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I'd contact the Philippine Consulate in Chicago I also went through them here's the contact information Consulate General of the Philippines - Chicago I had to use both the email and the phone and they do answer.

There are many disabled veterans here (not retired) and if I'm not mistaken they do get the SRRV visa so I'd contact them and Hey Joe makes a good point you'll need your DD-214 and many more documents make sure you get all this checked and verified (certified original documents) through the Philippine Consulate before you make that final move, you'll end up with a package that you bring here and finish up the process, you don't want to do this from here it will end up a HUGE pain, stressor and an unwanted costly delay.

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I am not a regulated immigration adviser. I am offering an opinion and not advice. Check here for professional help with the Philippine Bureau of Immigration PBI https://www.facebook.com/officialbureauofimmigration or Philippine Retirement Authority PRA for an SRRV Visa https://pra.gov.ph/contact/ Always stay alert and don't let your guard down.
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Old 28th June 2019, 01:22 PM
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HEY KEVIN,

you cannot get VA medical help in the Philippines. I am a vet and I use VA in the USA. I lived in the Philippines and I was on my own for medical treatment. Yes the doctors are cheaper there but the medicine is the same cost and some are even more then in the states. Be careful of buying the generic drugs since they are not controlled by the government. If you buy generic then stay with a pharmacy like Mercury drugs. They are more reliable who they buy drugs from then a neighborhood pharmacy. I am a class II diabetic also and I take Metformin and Glipizide and they cost more there then in the states here.

When i went to the Philippines I went to the VA pharmacy and told them I was leaving the country for awhile and they gave me a 3 months supply of all my medicines.

Art
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Last edited by greenstreak1946; 28th June 2019 at 01:25 PM.
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