Monday, August 5, 2013

My first Doctor's visit using Vetcare (a Success) =)

Today… I saw my normal doctor this morning (I am now officially in the IHFS system and he is accepting it) and the visit was covered by a $15 co-pay (normally $69.00 for a patient with no insurance). We’ll see how it is all billed out and if there is any additional cost outside of the accepted rate negotiated between IHFS and the doctor’s office.

The doctor’s office wasn’t sure what Vetcare was when I walked in (I did a lookup on the “Illinois Health Connect” and my Doctor was listed on it with a PCP # and a I brought a print out of that with me as proof), so it helped my showing that and my IHFS medical card also… plus a print out of the Vetcare Webpage that shows services allowed along with the listed co-pays for specific services. This way they couldn’t claim they didn’t know (and rejected me due to their lack of information). Always be prepared is my motto.

My doc then prescribed me 3 medications (Tramadol for my pain regarding the gout, Metoprolol for High Blood Pressure – this is a new diagnosis, and Allopurinol for my gout). Normally, the charge would have been $96.00 for all 3 prescriptions, but with Vetcare IHFS…. they were $6.00 each at Walgreens for the generic versions (who found me in the IHFS system also). So I saved $68.00 as a result.

He then referred me to a Psychiatrist regarding my depression (11 months of unemployment, my gout attacks, and Penny's cancer treatment have taken their toll on me) and also to a urologist due the blood in my urine. He believes there are docs out there who will take IHFS as he does (I am doing the lookup as we speak). I am hopeful we can now get my medical issues dealt with before my unemployment runs out.

So it appears the medical insurance is acting exactly as Illinois Medicade (under the term “Vetcare”).  So far, it would appear it is definitely worth it to fight for this and that other vets in need should do so while also trying to get VA Healthcare. Once the billing starts hitting my mail, I will update people regarding that. I will also be putting together a “punch list” of things Vets need to provide when applying for Vetcare. If I can get it, surely others can also (they just need the right info sent to Springfield and a “how to” regarding the process).

I hope that this provides a glimmer of hope to Vet specialists that there “are” options outside of VA healthcare and that one can add “Vetcare” to one's quiver of tools to help Vets.
In the interim, I am doing a lookup of Psychiatrists in the area and will try to get an appointment with Penny's former Urologist. We'll see how that goes.
All in all, a good day and hopefully.... the medication kicks in and helps my long term health (it is a dream I have).

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