Weatherford Democrat

Veterans' Corner

March 2, 2014

VETERANS’ CORNER: VA introducing new ID cards

By JIM VINES

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced the phased roll out of newly designed, more secure Veteran Health Identification Cards. The new cards are distinguished by additional security features and will have a different look and feel.

In addition to being more secure, the VHIC displays the veteran’s member ID, a new unique identifier and a Plan ID, reflecting the veteran’s enrollment in VA health care. The VHIC is personalized to display the emblem of the veteran’s branch of service, as well as providing  features that make it easier to use, such as the addition of “VA” in Braille to help visually impaired veterans, and the printing of VA phone numbers and emergency care instructions on the cards. 

The card replaces the Veteran Identification Card, which was introduced in 2004. As part of a phased roll out, starting this month, the card will only be offered to newly enrolled and other veterans who have not been issued a VIC. In early April, the VA will begin a three-month effort to automatically issue the more secure VHIC to current VIC cardholders. The VA recommends veterans safeguard their VIC as they would a credit card, and cut up or shred the card once it is replaced. Don’t leave the old card in a drawer. While not required to receive VA health care, all enrolled veterans are encouraged to get a VHIC.   

Enrolled veterans can get more information about the VHIC by visiting their VA medical facility enrollment coordinator or the website www.va.gov/healthbenefits/vhic or calling 1-877-222-8387. Veterans not enrolled can apply for enrollment at any time by visiting, www.va.gov/healthbenefits/enroll or calling 1-877-222-8387.

New national cemeteries

VA has announced the names of two new VA national cemeteries planned for Florida. The Cape Canaveral National Cemetery in Scottsmoor and the Tallahassee National Cemetery in Tallahassee.

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