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VA Begins Distributing Personalized Health Benefits Handbooks

Through a pilot program recently launched in Cleveland and Washington, D.C., VA has begun to provide some veteran with personalized Veterans Health Benefits Handbooks.  The personalized handbooks are designed to provide a veteran with only the information relevant to him or her.  Notably, the 2010 edition of the Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors manual was 90 pages long.  Secretary Shinseki explained the rationale behind the initiative, stating “enhancing access isn’t just about expanding the kinds of services VA provides.  It also includes making sure we do everything we can to ensure Veterans have a clear understanding of the benefits available to them so they can make full use of the services they have earned.”  The personalized handbooks provide information on the individual veteran’s specific health benefits, contact information for the local VA facility, and information on the veteran’s responsibilities – which in some cases includes copayments for services.  After the pilot phase is completed, full implementation is expected to begin in Fall 2011.

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