Health care updates and important dates to remember

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The Month of November has many important dates. Here are just a few. * Nov. 6 – Daylight Savings Time. Turn your clocks back one hour. * Nov. 8 – Election Day. * Nov. 10 – Marine Corps Birthday. * Nov. 11 – Veterans Day.* Nov. 24 – Thanksgiving Day. * Nov. 28 – First Day of the Regular Firearms Deer Season.

* Veterans Day Parade: There will be a Veterans Day parade held on Saturday Nov. 5 in Erie. The parade will start at Veterans Stadium on State Street and will end at the Erie VA Medical Center.

* TRICARE Removes Cost Barriers for Preventive and Mental Health: The Department of Defense (DOD) is improving the number of services and cost requirements for TRICARE’s preventive and mental health benefits. These changes, expected to be fully implemented by Spring 2017, are being implemented to expand access and reduce financial barriers for beneficiaries. Effective Oct. 3, DOD removed TRICARE limitations on mental health care and made out-of-pocket costs the same as other medical care. These changes improve care such as inpatient mental health and substance abuse admissions, group outpatient mental health visits, outpatient treatment for substance abuse, substance abuse detoxification, treatment of gender dysphoria, family counseling and much more. Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, the expansion of preventive services will go into complete effect. Some of the no-cost services will be expanded to include free genetic counseling for patients who are high-risk for breast cancer, colon cancer screenings/stool DNA testing and laboratory services considered preventive for certain cancers.

* MyHealtheVet Update: Last week, the VA launched an updated version of its MyHealtheVet website to make it more user and mobile friendly. MyHealtheVet is designed to help veterans track and manage their VA prescriptions, appointments and health care records. The VFW would like your views on the new design. Please visit www.myhealth.va.gov and tell them what you think by emailing vfwac@vfw.org.

* Help A Hero Scholarship Campaign And Free Haircuts: Since 2013, the VFW and Sport Clips have helped nearly 600 service members and veterans achieve their educational goals without incurring excessive student loan debt through the Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship. Now through Veterans Day, you can help further their post-military education goals by making a donation when you get a haircut at one of the more than 1,500 Sport Clips Haircuts locations across the country. Sport Clips will also hold “The Biggest Haircut Day of the Year” on Veterans Day, when participating stores will offer free haircuts to service members and veterans. For more information on the Sport Clips Help a Hero Scholarship, go to www.vfw.org/scholarship.

* MIA Update: * Navy Seaman 1st Class William E. Welch, 18, will be buried Oct. 29 in his hometown of Springfield, Ohio. On Dec. 7, 1941, Welch was assigned to the USS Oklahoma. * Army Cpl. Joseph Trepasso, 20, will be buried Nov. 5 in his hometown of Fulton, N.Y. In late November 1950, Trepasso was a member of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He would be declared missing in action on Dec. 12, 1950. * Army Pfc. Lavern C. Ullmer, of Montgomery, Ohio, will be buried Nov. 11 in Dayton. Ullmer was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, when he was reported missing in action on Nov. 30, 1950, in the vicinity of Kunu-ri, North Korea. It would be later learned he had been captured but died in a POW camp on Jan. 21, 1951. * Army Sgt. James E. Martin, 22, will be buried Nov. 17 in Anacoco, La. In late November 1950, Martin was a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He would be declared missing in action on Dec. 3, 1950. * Army Cpl. Donald E. Matney, 18, will be buried Nov. 19 in his hometown of Seymour, Mo. On July 20, 1950, Matney was a member of Company H, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, * Army Maj. Jack D. Griffiths, of Comanche County, Okla., was a member of Headquarters, 38th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, when he was reported missing in action on Nov. 30, 1950, in the vicinity of Somin-dong, North Korea. It would be later learned he had been captured but died in a POW camp. Interment services are pending.

Till next week, praying for all service members.

 

— Charles Castelluccio