Are You A Veteran ??: The VA has... - Advanced Prostate...

Advanced Prostate Cancer

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Are You A Veteran ??

Fairwind profile image

The VA has changed..Just walk into any VA Medical Center, stop at the front desk, get a number, wait until they call your number, do the interview..Bring your DD-214..If you have served in the armed forces, were honorably or medically discharged and your annual income is less than $38K / year more or less, you probably qualify for most benefits, no service connected disability necessary..Your first appointment will be with your PCP, primary care physician, who will spend an hour with you going over your health history. He / she will then refer you to any needed specialists including an Oncologist who will write any scripts you may need including things like Zytiga and Xtandi, scans, labs, Lupron...Chemo..Your prescriptions all cost the same $8 each. There is no charge for doctor visits, injections or infusions..Usually they send your scripts in the mail (UPS) and you or somebody must be home to sign for them..

The VA has a system. It's a little different than what you are used to, but it works. One word of advise.. Don't fight the system...

22 Replies

I'm a Catagory 5 and all my prescriptions filled by the VA have been billed to me at $8 each..I suspect as you are assigned a lower CAT number, the prescriptions are provided at no cost..You are correct in that you just don't walk into your VA Oncologists office with a list of prescriptions you want filled.. That won't get you very far..

There are many Veterans out there who simply don't realize they may be eligible for VA benefits..Many low-income Veterans may be surprised to find out they are eligible for VA benefits which usually includes low-cost or no cost prescription drugs..

Yes indeed, there is a lot of back-stage negotiating between the VA and Medicare but I'm blissfully unaware of the details.. Nice to meet you Bill...

Very Interesting. 38K will cover the rent in my neck of the woods. Not much else. does the VA adjust this amount for high cost of living areas? Is there reduced coverage if income is above 38K?

Fairwind profile image
Fairwind in reply to mcp1941

The $38 K is for a married veteran. If you are single, it's somewhat less..Yes, the figure does change depending on where you live. All they care about is annual income. Other property and assets don't count. I have a considerable amount in savings. That doesn't count until you spend it, then it' becomes income..

mcp1941 profile image
mcp1941 in reply to Fairwind

thanks for the info

Thanks, Fairwind and Bill68.

Fairwind, your info got my attention.

Bill 68, the link you provided is now saved.

I decided to spring for FLA and it went very well. Follow up testing will occur next Spring.

If I need future non-FLA treatment, I'll approach the VA as a "boots on the ground" Vietnam veteran.

gregg57 profile image
gregg57 in reply to Flyboy1969

In case you don't know, if you were "boots on the ground" in an area where Agent Orange was used, you should be eligible for 100% service-related disability for your PCa. 100% disabled vets get over $2000 per month plus essentially free health care for as long as you live. I think there also benefits for spouses, but you'd have to check into that. If you are considering doing that, I would highly recommend using an organization called DAV (Disabled American Veterans) to help you.

gregg57 profile image
gregg57 in reply to gregg57

And another thing about service-related disabilities with the VA. If you have any service-related disability, there is no "income test" so it doesn't matter how much you earn. Also, if you were exposed to Agent Orange, you don't have to prove that there was a connection between Agent Orange and your cancer.

Flyboy1969 profile image
Flyboy1969 in reply to gregg57

Thanks for the info. I'm retired from 30 years active, ANG, and USAFR. Don't know how getting military retired pay is affected if you are DV. When the last Pres. came in office I called the VA about getting an Agent Orange physical (heard from another vet that they were free). Instead, I was mailed an application for DV pay.

gregg57 profile image
gregg57 in reply to Flyboy1969

As far as I know, they look at where you were and when you were there to determine if you were exposed. You don't have to have any kind of physical for it. That's my understanding of it, but someone can correct me if that's not the case.

adlerman profile image
adlerman in reply to gregg57

100% disability is more like $2700 monthly- tax free- with dependents over 3,000.

gregg57 profile image
gregg57 in reply to adlerman

That's great, thanks for info.

I've been impressed with the VA. My doctor is very knowledgeable about PCa. The service has been excellent and cost very low. At my last appointment, we discussed just about every treatment I might need. With the exception of Provenge, he said they would do all the treatments I asked about, including genetic testing to my surprise. The only thing that worries me is if they would cover an emergency if I had to go somewhere else.

So far, I've been very happy. My co-pay for Zytiga is $11 per month (that's their highest price tier) They also have a $700 max out-of-pocket for meds, not that you'd ever reach that.

I would recommend all who are eligible to apply.

A few years ago I went to the VA (23 Street - East side) in New York City and after being interviewed for about an hour they told me that "my income was too high to qualify for VA coverage. I told them when I was being drafted no one ever questioned my income. As they say in the army "a lot of grab ass"...


Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Monday 12/03/2018 6:46 PM EST

Thanks for the info, learn something new every day. I only have a 10% disability so of course it's much less for me.

Sorry to hear, that stuff was nasty. Caused a lot of cancer and other problems. Still a lot of it in the environment in Vietnam.

Here is a fun little story for you...Ill keep it short...

April 4th of this year, I came home from work early because I was feeling so bad...maybe the Flu I thought?...laid down...woke up next morning peeing nothing but blood >> Urologist same day >>DRE >> to OR for Biopsy 1.5 hours later( had a TURP in OR)...woke up to doctor who said you have..

Stage 4 ductal APC, Gleason 9 with Mets to the bladder, Lymph nodes, and spine maybe lungs?...

Degarelix, Lupron, Zyitga and now radiation treatments

Lost job = No insurance

Went to VA = 100% everything will be covered!!! YAY!!

******* Here's the funny part, when filling out the application for VA coverage.*****

VA Nurse: Where you ever stationed at Camp Lejeune?...

Me: Yes I was from 1982-1986.... why?....

VA Nurse: "really?"

Me: Yea...Really What?.... What are you talking about?

VA Nurse: You don't know about the water?

Me: WTF are you talking about?...


********** Sad Part *********

VA Claims... Dean sorry but we cannot find proof you were in Camp Lejeune, we cannot find your records... And we need a note from your VA doctor that proves you are being treated for Stage 4 APC...Oh, and wait..we are DENYING your claim anyways... your bladder cancer isn't the primary source of cancer...prostate cancer is not the presumptive list

My VA experience :)

Doesn't matter I'll be dead in 12-18 months if that long...I am to tired to fight anymore

gregg57 profile image
gregg57 in reply to DeanNelson

Dean, That's why you need to go to DAV. They will do the fighting for you. You just turn it over to them. They do almost all the work for you and they get results. I've heard them described by more than one person as "pit bulls" when it comes to getting approval. They did it for me.

Everyone is tired Bill68, all we do is go from one doctor's appointment to another to radiation...then back home....then start all over again...I am 54 years old, and my wife is 51 and has aged 10 years in the last 4 months from worry... I've gone from a man to an infant in 6 months...

j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n in reply to DeanNelson

Hey Dean, I assume you made it through boot camp at Parris Island, so if you could handle that, you can handle little ole Pca. Get in touch with whoever is in charge of that VA hospital and read the riot act to him/her.

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Tuesday 12/04/2018 7:03 PM EST

thanks Bill

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