Skip to comments.Veterans Choice Excludes Dental Care
Posted on 07/31/2017 9:20:29 AM PDT by satan
The VA Veterans Choice Program is supposedly a benefit that allows eligible Veterans to receive health care from a community provider rather than waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility. I am rated at 100 percent totally and permanently disabled due to combat service-connected disability. The nearest VA dental facility is over 40 miles from my residence. I must wait more than 30 days for an appointment. I am therefore eligible for the program but VA tells me that dental care is specifically excluded from this program. Can anybody tell me why it is excluded and who made that determination?
Can’t say why, but I’ll see if I can look it up. In the meantime, most dental care rates can be negotiated if you offer to pay cash. The discounts can be significant.
I don’t think dental falls under medical coverage. It never has in the civilian world.
I wasn’t even aware that the VA offered general dental coverage. I’m service connected but dental has never been part of my benefits.
a few years ago when the dentist retired and we didn’t have a replacement dentist at our local VA clinic the VA allowed us to go to a private dentist closer to home...for 2 years until they got a new dentist I went to one I chose from a list...this was before Choice...
The VA arranged everything...I didn’t have to sign anything...
check and see if you can go to one without using Choice...
Dental work done by the VA is related to your disability determination, normally, and almost all of it falls into reconstructive surgery or follow on.
Something you didn’t say if your disability was related to dental. Did you have a service related dental incident that fell under your determination? (Something like a combat injury that caused damage to your face or teeth)
I’ve been determined, at least twice, to be 100%, called home bound, but I have a separate dental policy with another carrier to handle my dental. Normal dental needs like extracting teeth, to include wisdom teeth, or cleanings, are the responsibility of the patient, not the taxpayer.
If your VA has a program that they can afford to offer selective dental care not determination related, then you are lucky. It’s treated like elective surgeries in a military hospital. Unless doctors wish to do the surgeries to train, like my home hospital, Madigan, in Washington State, then the surgery will have to be done outside. And if elective, you may have to foot the bill.
I recently had a heart procedure done by a contracted provider downtown as there was no one or no equipment to do it on base or at the VA. And that was within the disability determination I have. I paid nothing for it but only because of medicare and ultimately tricare for life.
Have a visit with your VA reps and let them read the ruling to you through the changing VA standards that were set up in 2014 under the Obama administration. I don’t have all the changes as I do not deal with the VA that much. Good luck.
Some Veterans are allowed Dental care. For example POW’s, 100% total disabled and where service connected disability is associated with teeth. There are a few others but most do not get it. If you are entitled to dental care and a VA dentist is not available in a reasonable time the facility can issue a Voucher for treatment. This is not Choice. Once you get your voucher you can use any dentist as long as he accepts the voucher for payment and is acceptable to VA.
Be careful with the voucher. Or problems will develop. Example a voucher has an expiration date of 90 days and the treatment requires 100 days. The number of visits and what care given is outlined in the voucher. Make sure you read it carefully and go over it with the doctors billing office.
Almost all dental care is not an emergency; and really, how often do you go to the dentist in the first place. 30 days to get a dental appointment is not unusual in the private sector.
Dental care if related to service, i.e. extraction performed while on active service, leaving a space. The denture would be covered. Post service dental care? I think that is wishful thinking. I’m on Trycare for life, but I had to take Delta Dental for dental coverage which comes out of my retirement check.
You must be 100% P and T for free dental.
You can still go to a VA facility for dental care...
granted you will have to travel that far but you will get mileage for the round trip..”Travel”
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.