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Old 20-03-2016, 15:25   #61
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Re: Veterans/VA Med ... liveaboard in transit

You should look into cheap slips through the military system. If you have a VA id and can get into the base you should qualify.

U.S. Military Campgrounds and RV Parks - Home

Some of these have slips for as little as 94 cents/ft. Some you can stay long term. Campgrounds might also be a cheap way to take a brake from the boat, do laundry, eat at the base's dining facility, etc.

Good luck! Don't let other people kill your dream. It is your life at stake here. Only you can live it and you will be the only one left with either regrets or cherished memories once you are too old to sail. You can keep living a slow death or you can get busy feeling alive again. I say go out there and chose life.

Puerto Rico is cheap and has good VA facilities by the way. You might find your health improve in better weather and you might even decide to start to run sailing charters out of your boat to supplement your income!
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Old 20-03-2016, 17:09   #62
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Re: Veterans/VA Med ... liveaboard in transit

The VA system is a little more complicated that some folks seem to think. Disability ratings range from 10% to 100% and not all are deemed service connected. A 100% service connected means free care, but the process of being awarded 100% service connected is uneven at best. For those with non service connected disability there is a charge for VA health care, but it is by the day; so if you have one appointment on a day or multiple appointments a day you pay the same and the VA can (and usually will) schedule multiple appointments on the same day.

The increase of foreign born health care employees at the VA simply mirrors the increase of foreign born health care workers in the national health care system. Part of the problem is being a doctor is no longer as attractive to Americans as it use to be, but to foreign nationals it is still a very attractive system. The bottom line is the American population is aging and more folks are in need of health care at a time when there are fewer folks who want jobs providing health care. There has also been a big increase in the portion of vets who are applying for service connected disability. In WWII Gen. Patton famously slapped someone for what would now be diagnosed as PTSD. Not saying these folks do not have real problems, just that the system is being overloaded.

More to the OP's point contacting some flavor of VA service rep is the first step. My experience was that the doctors at the VA made it very clear to me my condition was service connected and the first service rep I connected pushed it through as quickly as he could, but it did take close to five years. On the other hand I know of folks the doctors felt had problems that were not service connected and they got less help from the service rep. Not saying you should give up if the doctors and service rep brushes you off, just that you will have a longer harder path.

Another issue mentioned is how much you and your primary care doctor relate. I had the same primary care doctor for 17 years, but she retired and in the last five years I have had five different ones. Same goes for her nurse who you normally have to speak to for triage. My primary care nurse lasted even longer and we were on a first name basis. Now they seem to change every time I visit.

Which leads to the issue of living on a boat, traveling, and as a result having different health care folks every time you visit. Not only does this make it harder to progress in getting service connected, but (at least in my view) lesser quality health care as well.

My advice would be to move to some place on the Florida Gulf close to military bases, with a warm climate, low cost of living, access to the water and establish a good relationship with the VA folks. Once you get a stable situation with the VA then start cruising.
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Old 20-03-2016, 17:27   #63
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Re: Veterans/VA Med ... liveaboard in transit

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaiyennCaptnDan View Post
There are different forms of disability. Mine is PTSD., then a whole list of physical problems followed (fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, immune system shut down, etc). I currently live in Maine and as per VA doctor's orders will be moving south in order to have a chance at getting better. Cruising on a Trawler with my boyfriend (who is a captain). Couldn't cruise or sail on my own due to lack of know how but physical activity and good weather is often times the best medicine there is. I think our fellow veteran will be wise to follow his heart too. It sounds like much like myself, for him is "get busy living or get busy dieing". Living on a trailer and freezing your old bones off for months at a time is just another form of slow death. I say go out there and choose life!
Well said! and Thank you for your service!
PTSD for me is worse than the physical damage. Even treated it is difficult at best, but not insurmountable when living "in the moment".
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Old 20-03-2016, 18:14   #64
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Re: Veterans/VA Med ... liveaboard in transit

"... anyone saying medicare is good has never had to use it."

Are you confusing Medicare with Medicaid? Medical insurance companies push everyone qualified for Social Security and not working into taking Medicare the day one hits 65. Even if you are working the insurance companies try their best to make Medicare the primary and themselves or someone else the secondary medical insurer. Consequently, all the physicians around here take Medicare, and the quality of medical care is damn good.
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Old 21-03-2016, 00:35   #65
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Re: Veterans/VA Med ... liveaboard in transit

informative link to V.A. cboc health care system.



Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) | The American Legion
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