Today, AARP launched the updated Veterans and Military Families Health Benefits Navigator to bring together valuable information and resources to help veterans, military families and their caregivers navigate their health care options. The tool provides Oklahoma’s veterans with critical information about what is required to qualify for health care benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or Department of Defense (DoD).
“Veterans and military families faced many difficulties serving our country; accessing health care benefits they earned shouldn’t be as challenging,” said Jim Randall, AARP Oklahoma volunteer state president and former Army reservist. “This free, one-stop resource will help make the process less confusing and overwhelming for veterans and military families as they navigate the best path for their health care needs.”
The AARP Veterans and Military Families Health Benefits Navigator has just been expanded to help veterans and their families access VA Specialty Care Programs and Services in the following areas:
- Women Veterans Health Care Program
- Specialty Emotional and Mental Health Services
- Specialty Dental, Oral, Hearing and Vision Services
- Family Caregiver Assistance Program
Nearly 60 percent of all veterans are eligible for VA health care services, yet less than half of those eligible veterans use VA health benefits, according to a RAND study. And a survey conducted by the VA Center for Women Veterans found women veterans age 50-plus are the least likely group to use their earned benefits. In addition, of the 312,492 veterans living in Oklahoma, only 33 percent have utilized their earned benefits at VA health care, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Yet quality of care delivered by the VA is generally equal to or better than care delivered in the private sector, according to a RAND study. Frustration with the application process and confusion about qualification requirements keeps many veterans from receiving their health benefits.
AARP’s Veterans and Military Families Health Benefits Navigator is available at www.AARP.org/VetsHealthNavigator. For more information and other resources for veterans, visit www.aarp.org/veterans.