Wednesday, December 17, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Veterans should enroll for health care now

puntillo column sig

By
From page A8 | March 15, 2014 |

The Affordable Care Act, “Obamacare” or Covered California as it is known in California, can all be connected back to health care for our veterans.

This is important to understand whether you are an honorably discharged veteran today, or whether you are still on active duty and anticipate being discharged in the next year or two.

As you have probably seen in the news coverage, there is a March 31 deadline looming for the uninsured to sign up for health insurance through Covered California and avoid the penalty for not complying with the requirement for everyone to have health insurance.

Veterans have options that others do not have to meet this deadline; they can access the Veterans Affairs health care system, which is rated among the best for medical care in the United States. There are some eligibility guidelines, but for those who qualify there is no enrollment fee, monthly premiums, or deductibles. Most veterans have no out-of-pocket costs; some veterans pay small copayments for health care or prescription drugs.

Additionally, there are more than 1,700 places across the country where veterans can get VA-covered health care. This means their VA health care coverage can go with veterans wherever they travel or move. Most importantly, given the topic, VA health care meets the new requirement to have health care coverage that meets the minimum standard.

Veterans may apply for VA health care enrollment at any time, and they should at least come by the County Veteran Services office with their DD-214 to see if they qualify. Veterans who currently receive health care from a VA program do not need to adjust anything to comply with the new law.

Veterans who are not eligible for VA health care (or who are but want to join the same health plan as the rest of their family) may have affordable health insurance options available through Covered California.

A veteran who is covered by VA health care usually will not have coverage for his or her family unless the veteran has a 100-percent service-connected disability. This is where Covered California can provide coverage for the veteran’s family.

Covered California offers 11 commercial health plans (such as Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield and Western Health Advantage). Financial assistance is available, ranging from monthly premium subsidies to tax credits.

Veterans who are eligible for VA health coverage, but are not enrolled in the VA system, may be eligible for financial assistance (as tax credits) through Covered California for themselves or their families. Veterans who are enrolled by a VA health program but do not have coverage for their families may also be eligible for tax credits under Covered California.

To figure this out, Covered California has a “shop and compare tool” on its website that allows individuals and/or their families to see the health plan options that have a network in their region. This tool (www.CoveredCA.com/shopandcompare) also shows premium prices, financial assistance (if relevant), plan benefits and plan information.

People can apply multiple ways:

  • Via the website at www.covered.ca.com.
  • Through the call center at 800-300-1506.
  • By completing a printed application and mailing or faxing it to 888-329-3700. Applications for subsidized and unsubsidized health insurance options are available at www.coveredca.com/individuals-and-families.

Although the deadline for enrolling in Covered California without penalty is March 31, there are events that allow veterans and their families to enroll after the deadline without penalty. For example, a veteran who is discharged after the deadline can enroll without penalty. This is known as a change of employment and health care coverage status.

There are other triggering events that may qualify a veteran for Covered California and veterans should call Covered California to get detailed information on these events. For information on VA health care, please continue to contact our office.

Ted Puntillo is director of Veteran Services for Solano County. Reach him at 784-6590 or TEPuntillo@SolanoCounty.com. The Solano County Veteran Services Office, 675 Texas St. in Fairfield, is open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Ken ReederMarch 15, 2014 - 4:38 pm

    If I read your message correctly, you left out Tricare as an permissible coverage under Obamacare. Why did you leave TriCare off your list?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Haynes, Travis district part company

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A1, 16 Comments

     
    Menorah on Main begins celebration of Hanukkah

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

     
    Free new home heater warms Solano family

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A3, 3 Comments | Gallery

     
    Optimist Club welcomes student essays

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

    Police arrest 5 on DUI allegations

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 6 Comments

     
     
    Crash blocks part of Air Base Parkway

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Police arrest 4 for suspected marijuana sales

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5, 7 Comments

     
    ‘Hobbit’ story ends on big screen

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

     
    Council delays decision on anti-smoking ordinance

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A8

     
    Police arrest man caught driving stolen car

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A8

     
    Fairfield police log: Dec. 14, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

     
    Faifield police log: Dec. 12, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

    Suisun City police log: Dec. 14, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

     
    Suisun City police log: Dec. 12, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

     
    .

    US / World

    Quotes from around the world on Pakistan attack

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    A look at the Pakistani Taliban militant group

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Taliban assault on Pakistan school leaves 141 dead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

     
    State retiree health care gap reaches $72 billion

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 4 Comments

    Robin Williams tops 2014 list of Google searches

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Ex-Marine wanted in 6 killings commits suicide

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 3 Comments

     
    Gay vets can march in Boston St. Patrick’s parade

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 2 Comments

    Cosby won’t be charged over molestation claim

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

     
    End game: No immigration deal, just divisions

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

    Jeb Bush to ‘actively explore’ run for president

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 4 Comments

     
    Aussie leader: System failed to track siege gunman

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

    Islamic State recruits broadly, not just fighters

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

     
    Eight-day Jewish festival of Hanukkah begins

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

    Filipino mayor expresses support for Guam statue

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

     
    Employees arrested for baby theft in Guatemala

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

    Israel arrests members of Jewish extremist group

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

     
    Ireland plans May vote on legalizing gay marriage

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

    Sydney siege victims lauded for courage, kindness

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

     
    Horror over deadly Sydney siege turns to anger

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

    .

    Opinion

     
    LA looks to election shift to boost turnout

    By Dan Walters | From Page: A11

    What is Hanukkah’s significance?

    By The Rev. Dan Molyneux | From Page: A11, 10 Comments

     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: Dec. 17, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: Dec. 17, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A2

    Horoscopes: Dec. 17, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

     
    My teenage daughter seems to be cutting me out of her life

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

    A chocolatey rich coconut cream pie for Christmas

    By Elizabeth Karmel | From Page: B7

     
    Go Italian this Christmas with lobster manicotti

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    Dressing up a simple hash for Christmas brunch

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    .

    Entertainment

    Letterman pulls curtain on holiday tradition

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

    Green Day, Reed, Starr into rock hall

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Fixes planned for clinic that treated Joan Rivers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    .

    Sports

    Chris Borland’s rookie 49ers season likely over

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Some Raiders players want Sparano in 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Fairfield grad Bishop signs with 49ers

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Memphis stops Golden State’s 16-game win streak

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sprint to end NASCAR sponsorship after 2016 season

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Raiders place LB Sio Moore on IR

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Patriots regain top spot in AP Pro32 rankings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Rodriguez girls finally get win over Monte Vista

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

    Panthers outlast Capitals in longest NHL shootout, 20 rounds

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    AP sources: NFL employees turn over phone, email records

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Bills deliver Lions pizza, wings for hospitality

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    1998 World Cup winner Thierry Henry retires

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    USOC decides to bid for 2024; city still undecided

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    College football playoff participants stack AP All-America team

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Yankees GM Cashman: A-Rod now a full-time DH

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    .

    Business

    California home prices cool in November on sluggish sales

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    T-Mobile to let customers carry over unused data

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Apple wins class-action lawsuit over iPod prices

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Apple stops sales in Russia, citing unstable ruble

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

    Obama backs bill imposing new sanctions on Russia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B9, 5 Comments

     
    Sony hackers reference 9/11 in new threats against theaters

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

    Russian ruble sinks sharply despite bank rate hike

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Collie Joseph Blossom

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

     
    Calvin B. Shin

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

    James Nelson

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

     
    .

    Comics

    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6