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Old 12-03-2016, 05:59   #1
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Veterans/VA Med ... liveaboard in transit

I'm retired. get my SS, a small state pension and VA supplementary pension(non-service disability) ... I've been somewhat disabled since being about 13 years old ... Air Force said I never should've gotten in and got a 35-4 in 1971.

In the winter, I live in a mobile home, with freezing pipes, no refrigerator/freezer and high heating bills ... I muddle through, since it's only temporary(5-6 months), before launch time(Ohio), but in my older years, I hate winter, it's demoralizing to me and my physical & mental health suffers.

The cost of living in this trailer with the bills and everything included takes up almost all my sum of pensions ... hard to save money. Monetarily, I'm on the edge

On the boat, in summer, I have a much physical & mental better life and can save a substantial sum of money monthly. I feel re-invigorated and more financially fit. I have a fridge/freezer and feel secure in my cucoon(Bristol 29).

I want to liveaboard full-time. My medical care is VA., but VA medical clinics have given me a hard time(really, really hard time), for showing up at a clinic that was not my primary care ... they even gave me a hard time for showing for a procedure(scheduled by the Cleveland VA, to that clinic).

I'm a war-time veteran, and my care is financially based, for no co-pays($1071).

During the winter, I live like the pauper I'm supposed to be and have almost no excess money after bills and all ...During the summer, when I'm on my sailboat, I'm no longer live like a pauper ... I have some excess money.

When I ask a VA patient rep about VA care, the first impression I get, is that I'm doing something almost wrong or immoral ... almost like I have an obligation(or something), to live like the pauper I'm supposed to be.

I'd like to hear from veterans about how they resolve(or resolved), problems with VA care while transiting from one place to another on a nearly daily basis. I assume that if I find a nice marina in South Carolina(a little bit of winter doesn't bother me), and STAY PUT ... it's no problem, and I might stay put ... but I might not ... I hope to like a turtle, slowly going from place to place with my shell on my back.

I'm 66 and this "sojourn", is a part of my un-written bucket list ... something I've wanted to do for years ... I really want to do it and I want my medical care to kinda follow me not feel "guilty" about having too much fun.
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Old 12-03-2016, 06:22   #2
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Re: Veterans/VA Med ... liveaboard in transit

Get a studio apartment, be happy to have an income.
Don't bother living on a boat, its not for those without money.
Want to go sailing? great! get a little hobbiecat, or other small sailboat and enjoy the water. Otherwise just live on land. The costs of owning a boat in the south will make you very very poor.
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Old 12-03-2016, 07:03   #3
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pirate Re: Veterans/VA Med ... liveaboard in transit

I've wintered on board through 2 winters in NC.. Oriental and Beaufort.. both alongside and on the hook in Taylors Creek.
It got cold but not unbearable with a couple of oil lamps and.. if you've access to electric..cozy..
In Oriental there were many waterside properties with slips to rent from $150/month water and elec.. mind this was 10yrs back so today.. who knows.
However.. this gives one a 'Land Address' for mail etc and a base.. from there one can potter about at leisure with a variety of anchorages up the Neuse and Pamlico Sound and outer banks..
You'll never really know till you try.. but in general I found the local folk friendly and helpful and the area.. beautiful.
Best wishes on the Bucket List

By the way I'm a Brit so ignorant of many restrictions you may be subject to.
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Old 12-03-2016, 07:19   #4
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Re: Veterans/VA Med ... liveaboard in transit

Quote:
Originally Posted by SURV69 View Post
I'm retired. get my SS, a small state pension and VA supplementary pension(non-service disability) ... I've been somewhat disabled since being about 13 years old ... Air Force said I never should've gotten in and got a 35-4 in 1971.

In the winter, I live in a mobile home, with freezing pipes, no refrigerator/freezer and high heating bills ... I muddle through, since it's only temporary(5-6 months), before launch time(Ohio), but in my older years, I hate winter, it's demoralizing to me and my physical & mental health suffers.

The cost of living in this trailer with the bills and everything included takes up almost all my sum of pensions ... hard to save money. Monetarily, I'm on the edge

On the boat, in summer, I have a much physical & mental better life and can save a substantial sum of money monthly. I feel re-invigorated and more financially fit. I have a fridge/freezer and feel secure in my cucoon(Bristol 29).

I want to liveaboard full-time. My medical care is VA., but VA medical clinics have given me a hard time(really, really hard time), for showing up at a clinic that was not my primary care ... they even gave me a hard time for showing for a procedure(scheduled by the Cleveland VA, to that clinic).

I'm a war-time veteran, and my care is financially based, for no co-pays($1071).

During the winter, I live like the pauper I'm supposed to be and have almost no excess money after bills and all ...During the summer, when I'm on my sailboat, I'm no longer live like a pauper ... I have some excess money.

When I ask a VA patient rep about VA care, the first impression I get, is that I'm doing something almost wrong or immoral ... almost like I have an obligation(or something), to live like the pauper I'm supposed to be.

I'd like to hear from veterans about how they resolve(or resolved), problems with VA care while transiting from one place to another on a nearly daily basis. I assume that if I find a nice marina in South Carolina(a little bit of winter doesn't bother me), and STAY PUT ... it's no problem, and I might stay put ... but I might not ... I hope to like a turtle, slowly going from place to place with my shell on my back.

I'm 66 and this "sojourn", is a part of my un-written bucket list ... something I've wanted to do for years ... I really want to do it and I want my medical care to kinda follow me not feel "guilty" about having too much fun.
If you are 66 why are you not accessing your health care through Medicare instead of the VA? You would have much more flexibility and Medicare Advantage Plans can be found pretty reasonably to cover your drugs and copays. My husband is also a vet but hasn't stepped foot in a military medical facility since he separated from the Navy in 1993.
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Old 12-03-2016, 07:24   #5
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Re: Veterans/VA Med ... liveaboard in transit

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Originally Posted by sailnow2011 View Post
Get a studio apartment, be happy to have an income.
Don't bother living on a boat, its not for those without money.
Want to go sailing? great! get a little hobbiecat, or other small sailboat and enjoy the water. Otherwise just live on land. The costs of owning a boat in the south will make you very very poor.
Wow..... I hope this is not a serious post and was said with tongue in cheek.
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Old 12-03-2016, 07:28   #6
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Re: Veterans/VA Med ... liveaboard in transit

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Originally Posted by oldragbaggers View Post
If you are 66 why are you not accessing your health care through Medicare instead of the VA? You would have much more flexibility and Medicare Advantage Plans can be found pretty reasonably to cover your drugs and copays. My husband is also a vet but hasn't stepped foot in a military medical facility since he separated from the Navy in 1993.
I was thinking the same thing, but I don't know all the nuances and tradeoffs.
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Old 12-03-2016, 07:40   #7
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Re: Veterans/VA Med ... liveaboard in transit

I will be following this, as I wish to do this as well. Retired 27 + years, 17.5 active duty years. Heart problems surfaced, while returning from combat, procedures ignored. I'm sure it was my fault. 😳 Fine print and all that.
My spouse has no medical coverage, so we pay as we go.
My dependent, minor, stepson has no coverage.
None of it smells right. I'm still here.
Listed at 100% service connected.


Still surrounded by anchors.
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:25   #8
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Re: Veterans/VA Med ... liveaboard in transit

i'm a 66 year old vet too and don't see why you're having such a problem. before buying my boat a couple years ago i traveled the country in my rv for over three years and had no problem whatsoever getting medical care wherever i went. i was able to switch primary care clinics and physicians in a heartbeat. i have a service connected disability from vietnam so i also pay zero deductible and i can't imagine that has anything to do with anything. i've seen many veterans come to venues such as this and complain about their care and get all the wrong answers when every state in the nation has veterans advocates only a phone call away that can actually help. you need to pick up that phone and get busy.
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:28   #9
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Re: Veterans/VA Med ... liveaboard in transit

Get in contact with Disabled Vets (DAV). They can help you. It might also help you to sail your boat down to FL during the winter.

Maje
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:44   #10
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Re: Veterans/VA Med ... liveaboard in transit

A simple phone call to your congressman's office can also help cut through the BS.

I'm a veteran also. Not eligible for VA assistance at this time. Thankfully.

JK
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:48   #11
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Re: Veterans/VA Med ... liveaboard in transit

The eastern seaboard of the US is NOT an inexpensive place to live in 2016.
Texas is far cheaper to live in than South Carolina. Especially heating and cooling.
Probably the least expensive place to keep a boat in the water in the US is on the Texas Gulf coast. I would look into Palacios. The commercial fishing is gone and the place is practically abandoned. Nice FREE fishing off the municipal pier in the bay, of course you will be stuck in the Gulf of Mexico.
I would get out of the mid-west and hightail it south. Medical has got to be as good as Ohio and Houston is within 150 miles. You could get closer to a major city but the price will go up.
Victoria is closer but do not know about VA in the area.
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:54   #12
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Re: Veterans/VA Med ... liveaboard in transit

Do not let the VA control where you live. As soon as possible check out South Carolina and possibly the West cost of Florida for both marinas and mooring fields (I am not sure if you can afford slip rental). If you are in a slip that is your new address, otherwise arrange a local mailbox. Of course location of VA facilities is something you should consider especially if you don't have a car. There must be veteran groups in S.C. who can give you some good local advice. The laws are generally on your side so if they find your address chances inconvenient, too bad. Do not be shy about contacting the local Congressman for help if they give you what seems to be unreasonable difficulties. Good luck in your move to sunnier places.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:04   #13
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Re: Veterans/VA Med ... liveaboard in transit

Hi SURV69 -- I'm not you so I don't know what kind of disability you have, BUT... I, too, am retired (68) with a small SS payment and a small VA disability and my wife and I live on our trawler about half the year and in Colorado the other half. I travelled for work most of my life and even spent part of it overseas.. The VA never tried to take my money away.

IMHO, do this:
1. Set up Direct Deposit for your SS and disability money. Now you are free to travel whenever and wherever. There are plenty of spots to anchor along the east cost warm enough and cheap enough to survive without spending your money on heat. Wander and research marinas at your own pace until you find the one you like. It's out there.

2. Unless there is some overriding reason you need to go to the VA for your health care STOP!!! Use Medicare. Choose your own doctor. Get a Part D and Rx plan and health care is virtually free.

3. The Sun is shining everywhere,
The Sun is shining everywhere,
I hear what you say, but I'll sing it anyway,
The Sun is shining everywhere.

Tell me the things that make you happy,
Tell me the things that make you blue,
Tell me the things that make you happy
and I'll tell you the things that you ought to do...

Believe in yourself. Do what makes you happy. Screw everything else.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:12   #14
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Re: Veterans/VA Med ... liveaboard in transit

I love vets and I appreciate their service, but the elephant in the room is that it doesn't seem to be a service-related disability. So what's a Congressman going to do?

Why not go the Medicare route? I ask this as in all sincerity as an Air Force spouse, so I'm super-supportive of our military, but I really would like to understand the reasoning here. It may well be that Medicare is a lot cheaper.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:13   #15
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Re: Veterans/VA Med ... liveaboard in transit

Surv69, Number 1, please pay NO attention to sailnow2011. It's bad enough that we have to deal with government bureaucracy without other supposed sailors trying to discourage us from our dreams.

We imagine that we may have the same trouble with TriCare during our travels. (Retired Navy.). Have been able to work around their silly rules by using a friend for a permanent address.

Each of us want to have the best quality of life that we can with the resources available to us. The quality of our life is living aboard and being free to move around.

You have your cocoon and we have our little hobbit house on the water. Even the most luxurious apartment would not give us the joy we have. The guy advising swallowing the anchor doesn't appear to have the liveaboard heart. Perhaps they should move ashore.

We would advise to learn the rules and figure ways to work around them. Don't let the bureaucratic buffoons set you in the doldrums. Fair winds and following seas.
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