Weatherford Democrat

December 8, 2013

VETERANS' CORNER: VA pushes online health info for vets, service members


Weatherford Democrat

— By JIM VINES

The Department of Veterans Affairs is urging all veterans and service members to join the millions already accessing VA health care information and service online. VA is marking this milestone by spreading the word about the benefits of My HealtheVet Personal Health Record, such as VA prescription refill, VA notes, VA Blue Ribbon and secure messaging with VA health care providers.

MyHealtheVet is VA’s award-winning website that offers veterans secure access to portions of information in their VA health care records, anywhere and anytime. Its web-based tools give users greater control over their care and wellness, helping them become active partners in their health care.

In addition to allowing veterans access to their records, MyHealtheVet lets veterans save, print and share health information. Veterans who upgrade their accounts, free of charge, can use secure messaging to communicate electronically with their VA health care teams between visits. Veterans can also view VA appointments, get VA wellness reminders, access lab results and more.

Throughout December, coordinators at all 151 VA medical centers organize community events, host enrollment and education health fairs, lead training sessions and work with VA Voluntary Service to showcase how My HealtheVet contributes to more informed and engaged veteran patients. VA continues to build its online health record, adding new online tools and features, and are geared up to accept new enrollees throughout December.

VA encourages veterans and service members to enroll or upgrade at www.myhealth.va.gov. MyHealtheVet is celebrating 10 years of online access.



Pearl Harbor plates

Any veteran who was stationed at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, is eligible for special “Pearl Harbor Survivor” plates. The plates may be issued for any vehicle, except a vehicle used for transportation for hire, compensation or profit, or a motorcycle. The veteran must have received a honorable discharge, stationed at Pearl Harbor or the Island of Oahu, or offshore within a distance of three miles, during the hours of 7:55 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., Hawaii time.

Upon the death of a veteran issued these special plates, his or her surviving spouse may retain the special plates. Upon the death of the spouse, these plates shall be returned within 60 days following that death or upon the expiration of the vehicle’s registration, whichever comes first. Contact local Department Public Safety for their guidelines.

Newspapers and television networks will have Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day scheduled events and activities.



Scam alert

Veterans should be aware of a marketing scam targeting callers trying to reach the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Call Center or GI Bill Call Center. A marketing company has established two fraudulent numbers that differ from the two official VA call center numbers by one digit. If the fraudulent number is dialed by mistake, the answering party will offer a gift card and try to obtain personal and financial information, including credit card information from the caller. The answering party may even transfer the caller to the VA after the caller’s information is obtained.

The numbers to be avoided are: 800-872-1000 (the National Call Center number is 800-827-1000) and 888-442-4511 (the VA GI Bill Call Center is 888-442-4551). VA has asked law enforcement authorities to address this situation. Please be careful dialing the correct numbers.

Speak to you again next week.

Jim Vines is commander of AmVets Post 133.