Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,065 Posts
FYI, Health care changes are afoot. This is not concrete yet but this could be effective as early as Oct 1, 2015. I got this info from my local RAO today.

"During a teleconference this past Friday, we became aware of several changes which will affect a large portion of the veteran population here in the Philippines. Please as you read the following, keep in mind these changes are not coming from VA Manila, but rather the VA Administration in DC. VA Manila is trying hard to provide the best care and benefits that they are funded for. Many of you will be upset with what you are about to read but you should place the blame where it belongs. Mr. & Mrs. Congressman. The folks we elect to watch out for our interests in Washington.

The Changes;
Current plans call for the implementation of the Foreign Medical Plan (FMP) to replace the current VA Health Care system we are serviced by, effective 1 October 2015. Many are not familiar with this program but it has been being used throughout the world for years. Basically its a medical program for traveling veterans and those who like us live outside the U.S. Both programs require that you only be treated for service connected disabilities.

The basic differences between what we now have and the FMP are;
1. You can go to any provider you chose as long as they are not banned from the program by FMP
2. You must pay the treatment bill up front and request reimbursement from FMP.
3. If you can get the provider to file the forms and wait for the payment good on you, but if not you must file the forms and wait for your money. The FMP site advertises that the wait for reimbursement is 45 days. As with Tricare, you will receive a check. Being able to cash that could be a concern as the usual 25 day wait period may apply.

As there will be no available local assistance with filling out the forms, the RAO is self-educating it’s staff on the FMP and the claim forms and will provide assistance in these areas.

Please don't flood us with questions on this. Hold your questions as the terms of the program are still under discussion between FMP and VA and some parts of the program may change and make your questions un-needed.

We simply want to make you aware that things are going to change. Also we can make a few suggestions on how you can prepare for the changes.

1. Try to set aside a medical emergency fund in the event you need hospitalization.
2. Keep in mind that if you are TRICARE eligible, you may be able to use that as your medical care for your disability.
3. Set aside funds for a flight to Guam to get VA funded care for service connected disabilities.
4. Begin looking at other locally available health care programs like PhilHealth.

As we have mentioned before the travel reimbursement program which VA Manila has been paying kinda without authorization will also be ending
on Oct 1 2015.
"

If this pushes through, I would keep enough cash on hand to get by for double the processing time. I doubt that the FMP is ready for the inundation of claims that will occur as a result of this action. Now might be a good time to be writing letters to your Congressman and Representative on your viewpoints on this. Since the elections are upcoming, it might get their attention.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,551 Posts
Stateside hospitals cringe when you mentioned that you have Tricare, I had some sort of attack, thought I was having a heart attack it turned out to be an anxiety attack but I'll never forget the look on the woman processing me into the emergency room when I mentioned I use Tricare, it was like ugh! and oh no and I want to mention what a horrible program it is, I got charged for months after that emergency room episode with all kinds of bills, I had another anxiety attack and drove myself to the VA clinic, no bills, isn't that amazing what zero percent gives you states side.

So it sounds like the Health Care hasn't really changed for any Government run health care option when living abroad, you pay up front and get reimbursed later, it was this way 8 years ago, sounded like it changed but I see it really hasn't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Well this is ironic as "c_acton98" and I had a private conversation along the same lines as this announcement a few weeks ago.

Even though I don't like this change, it does make perfect sense as the Philippines is the only country outside CONUS with a VA office, while the rest of the world has the FMP. It is probably more cost effective to have the Philippines be under the FMP like every other country and just have the VA available for stateside vets.

The VA here didn't cover anything but service connected issues, so the only real change is that I will have to pay for those and then be reimbursed...but where will my VA medications come from?????

I guess we will find out.

JM101
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
FYI, Health care changes are afoot. This is not concrete yet but this could be effective as early as Oct 1, 2015. I got this info from my local RAO today.

"During a teleconference this past Friday, we became aware of several changes which will affect a large portion of the veteran population here in the Philippines. Please as you read the following, keep in mind these changes are not coming from VA Manila, but rather the VA Administration in DC. VA Manila is trying hard to provide the best care and benefits that they are funded for. Many of you will be upset with what you are about to read but you should place the blame where it belongs. Mr. & Mrs. Congressman. The folks we elect to watch out for our interests in Washington.

The Changes;
Current plans call for the implementation of the Foreign Medical Plan (FMP) to replace the current VA Health Care system we are serviced by, effective 1 October 2015. Many are not familiar with this program but it has been being used throughout the world for years. Basically its a medical program for traveling veterans and those who like us live outside the U.S. Both programs require that you only be treated for service connected disabilities.

The basic differences between what we now have and the FMP are;
1. You can go to any provider you chose as long as they are not banned from the program by FMP
2. You must pay the treatment bill up front and request reimbursement from FMP.
3. If you can get the provider to file the forms and wait for the payment good on you, but if not you must file the forms and wait for your money. The FMP site advertises that the wait for reimbursement is 45 days. As with Tricare, you will receive a check. Being able to cash that could be a concern as the usual 25 day wait period may apply.

As there will be no available local assistance with filling out the forms, the RAO is self-educating it’s staff on the FMP and the claim forms and will provide assistance in these areas.

Please don't flood us with questions on this. Hold your questions as the terms of the program are still under discussion between FMP and VA and some parts of the program may change and make your questions un-needed.

We simply want to make you aware that things are going to change. Also we can make a few suggestions on how you can prepare for the changes.

1. Try to set aside a medical emergency fund in the event you need hospitalization.
2. Keep in mind that if you are TRICARE eligible, you may be able to use that as your medical care for your disability.
3. Set aside funds for a flight to Guam to get VA funded care for service connected disabilities.
4. Begin looking at other locally available health care programs like PhilHealth.

As we have mentioned before the travel reimbursement program which VA Manila has been paying kinda without authorization will also be ending
on Oct 1 2015.
"

If this pushes through, I would keep enough cash on hand to get by for double the processing time. I doubt that the FMP is ready for the inundation of claims that will occur as a result of this action. Now might be a good time to be writing letters to your Congressman and Representative on your viewpoints on this. Since the elections are upcoming, it might get their attention.
Teleconference between who and who??

The way The PPBS works, a 4 month notice is highly unlikely if not impossible !!!

IMHO, absolutely no need to worry about any changes for now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,065 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Teleconference between who and who??

The way The PPBS works, a 4 month notice is highly unlikely if not impossible !!!

IMHO, absolutely no need to worry about any changes for now.
I assume that the teleconference was between the Subic RAO and the VA. The Subic RAO has been very engaged with the VA since the new director took over. This has resulted in VA visits to the Subic area 2 out of every 3 months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
I assume that the teleconference was between the Subic RAO and the VA. The Subic RAO has been very engaged with the VA since the new director took over. This has resulted in VA visits to the Subic area 2 out of every 3 months.
The PPBS and FYDP don't announce budget plans that effect FY2016 Programs 4 months prior to the effective FY.

Enjoy a cold one and relax. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
FYI, Health care changes are afoot. This is not concrete yet but this could be effective as early as Oct 1, 2015. I got this info from my local RAO today.

The Changes;
Current plans call for the implementation of the Foreign Medical Plan (FMP) to replace the current VA Health Care system we are serviced by, effective 1 October 2015. .
The Clinic Manager is off until Monday, but I was able to speak with a supervisor.

For those who have been here awhile, rumors of closure happen all almost every year because Congress approves the operation/budget on an annual basis. One can do Google searches and find posts on other forums from years past that talk about the same issue.

The supervisor stated that the Clinic will remain open to service SC Vets beyond 2015 as long as Congress does the annual approval, what is under discussion is The LOA program. It appears LOAs will stop being issued for away from clinic care FMP will be used instead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
This is not a surprise at all. I posted something along this about 8 months ago. The service provided by VA Clinic here is OK. It really only saves you money up front. Personally I would much rather see my family doctor than go to VA. Read the writing on the wall for a year or so VA has been prodding people to put their medical records with them online so that private doctors can access them (after you grant permission). FMP if you read the brouchers and rule will be more benificial to us overseas vets. I know from personal experiance VA MANILA always uses the excuse they are not funded for certain things. Ms Vicki Randall the VA MANILA CLINIC MANAGER told me herself we are like FMP but with restrictions.

As a member of RAO all are not created equal. I went to 2 meetings. I brought up this very subject, they were unaware of this. I get my info from the RAO bulletin that is posted biweekly. I hope you all read it.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top