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Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Date Posted:02/19/21
This Story Expires on: 09/30/21
VA Again Extends Debt Collection Moratorium

Date Posted:02/19/21
This Story Expires on: 04/30/21
The Spouse Angle Podcast — Up this week: The mental health toll of military spouse unemployment

Date Posted:02/19/21
This Story Expires on: 05/31/21
Seeking a New Job? Look Beyond the Bottom Line

Date Posted:02/19/21
This Story Expires on: 06/30/21
VA Extends Moratorium on Foreclosures, Evictions

Date Posted:02/19/21
This Story Expires on: 05/31/21
Military Families in On Base Housing May Soon Be Able to Withhold Rent in Disputes

Date Posted:02/17/21
This Story Expires on: 04/30/21
Retiree’s wife: Here’s what to do if you think you’re still covered under Tricare Select

Date Posted:02/17/21
This Story Expires on: 04/30/21
Military families will get their remaining tenant rights by summer, DoD official says

Date Posted:02/17/21
This Story Expires on: 05/15/21
Why there should be a director of military spouses at DoD

Date Posted:02/12/21
This Story Expires on: 04/30/21
Congress Pulls the Plug on TRICARE Dental Program Transition to FEDVIP

Date Posted:02/12/21
This Story Expires on: 05/31/21
What Does Tricare Vision Actually Cover?

Date Posted:02/12/21
This Story Expires on: 05/31/21
Who accepts Tricare vision insurance?

Date Posted:02/12/21
This Story Expires on: 05/31/21
Here’s Why It Can Be Lonely at the Top (of the Salary Range)

Date Posted:02/12/21
This Story Expires on: 05/31/21
What’s Next for the Military Shopping Benefit?

Date Posted:02/12/21
This Story Expires on: 05/31/21
New VA secretary promises unity around work to reform veterans programs

Date Posted:02/08/21
This Story Expires on: 03/31/21
You now have to wear a mask virtually everywhere on military bases — including outdoors

Date Posted:02/07/21
This Story Expires on: 03/15/21
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center Update

Date Posted:02/07/21
This Story Expires on: 03/31/21
The Spouse Angle Podcast

Date Posted:01/30/21
This Story Expires on: 04/30/21
National Guard troops will get credit towards GI Bill benefits for Capitol Hill security mission

Date Posted:01/30/21
This Story Expires on: 04/30/21
South Carolina State Veteran Benefits

Date Posted:01/27/21
This Story Expires on: 04/30/21
North Charleston VA clinic to open part of new facility for Veteran vaccination distribution

Date Posted:01/27/21
This Story Expires on: 04/30/21
Here’s how much you’re saving in military commissaries

Date Posted:01/27/21
This Story Expires on: 04/30/21
DoD officials consider drastic measures as commissary shortages hit critical levels

Date Posted:01/27/21
This Story Expires on: 04/30/21
Biden Signs Executive Order Delaying VA Debt Collections

Date Posted:01/27/21
This Story Expires on: 03/31/21
President Joe Biden announced Friday that he was asking the Department of Veterans Affairs once again to delay collecting debts from v

Date Posted:01/27/21
This Story Expires on: 04/30/21
Will the Guard’s Capitol Hill deployment count towards GI Bill benefits?

Date Posted:01/27/21
This Story Expires on: 05/31/21
South Carolina State Veteran Benefits

Date Posted:01/21/21
This Story Expires on: 03/31/21
Here Are Some Key TRICARE Coverage Improvements Contained in the NDAA

Date Posted:01/21/21
This Story Expires on: 04/30/21
DoD Now Offering Permanent 100% Reimbursement Rate for Do It Yourself Moves

Date Posted:01/20/21
This Story Expires on: 03/31/21
The National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial Needs Your Help

Date Posted:01/20/21
This Story Expires on: 03/31/21
DoD Cancels Plans to Let Thousands of Civilian Employees Shop at Exchange

Date Posted:01/07/21
This Story Expires on: 03/27/21
New in 2021: More companies commit to hiring military spouses

Date Posted:01/07/21
This Story Expires on: 04/30/21
This Nonprofit Gives Free Suits to Transitioning Service Members

Date Posted:12/26/20
This Story Expires on: 03/31/21
Troops With Debilitating Cases of COVID 19, or Their Survivors, to Be Eligible for VA Disability Pay

Date Posted:12/26/20
This Story Expires on: 04/30/21
MOAA’s 2021 Transition Guide: Suited for Success

Date Posted:11/20/20
This Story Expires on: 03/31/21
Over 100 Representatives Call on NDAA Conferees to Add Agent Orange Presumptives

Date Posted:11/09/20
This Story Expires on: 03/31/21
Free App Lets Troops Read to Their Kids From Anywhere

Date Posted:08/12/20
This Story Expires on: 03/31/21
How to Find Your Old Military Buddies After You Get Out

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Rollout Report: The COVID 19 Vaccine and DoD, VA, Medicare, and More
Posted on: 12/26/20
This Story Expires on: 02/28/21


World War II veteran Margaret Klessens, 96, becomes the first VA patient in the nation to receive the COVID-19 vaccine Dec. 14 at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, Mass., on Dec. 14. (VA Bedford Healthcare System via Twitter)


(Updated Dec. 21 to include new VA vaccination locations.)

By: Kevin Lilley

In the days since the Food and Drug Administration provided the first emergency use authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S., thousands of doses have been shipped nationwide … and an uncounted number of medical facilities, care centers, and government agencies have been asked to clear up questions on how the rollout will work.

 

As part of MOAA’s ongoing effort to provide health care information to its members, you’ll find some of the details on the early stages of this process below. Don’t be surprised if your specific question doesn’t yet have a solid answer – many of the pieces remain in flux, and many of the guidelines remain short on detail in the early going. MOAA will provide updates as new information becomes available.

 

DoD

Sites: DoD released plans Dec. 9 outlining the basics of the department’s response. These include the locations where the initial inventory of vaccine doses – just under 44,000 – will be distributed:

  • California: Coast Guard Base Alameda, Naval Medical Center San Diego (including Camp Pendleton).
  • Florida: Naval Branch Health Clinic Jacksonville, Naval Hospital Pensacola (including Keesler Air Force Base, will administer vaccines to residents at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport, Miss.)
  • Hawaii: Tripler Army Medical Center
  • Indiana: National Guard (Franklin)
  • Maryland: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (will administer vaccines to the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, D.C.)
  • New York: National Guard Medical Command (Watervliet)
  • North Carolina: Womack AMC
  • Texas: Brooke AMC, Darnall AMC
  • Virginia: Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (including Coast Guard Base Portsmouth)
  • Washington: Madigan AMC
  • International: Camp Humphreys, South Korea (Allgood Army Community Hospital); Kadena Air Base, Japan (Kadena Medical Facility); Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany.

 

Priority: DoD has divided recipients into phases.

  • Phase 1A includes health care providers and support personnel at military treatment facilities and other care locations. This may include non-clinical staff, contractors, and others who may be in close contact with COVID-19 patients.
  • Phase 1B includes personnel supporting “critical national capabilities,” to include those preparing for overseas deployment. The vaccine will not be mandatory while under emergency use authorization, DoD officials stated, though that could change once regular authorization is granted.
  • Phase 1B and Phase 2 both include high-risk beneficiaries.
  • Phases 2 and 3 include other beneficiaries.

 

Who gets it: “I think in that first batch you'll see the retirement homes, the medical community and a very -- you know, a handful -- couple dozens of senior leaders for leadership and messaging purposes,” Assistant Secretary Of Defense For Health Affairs Thomas McCaffery at a Dec. 9 briefing.

 

[FROM CDC.GOV: What to Expect After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine]

 

Health.mil released its first full post on the vaccine, including details on priority and other concerns, on Dec. 15.

 

VA

Sites: The VA announced the 37 sites that will distribute the department’s initial vaccine allotment. Here’s the full list. A VA spokeswoman told Stars and Stripes the department received 73,000 doses of the vaccine.

 

On Dec. 21, the VA announced an additional 128 sites offering vaccinations, including 113 that would offer the new Moderna vaccine, which can be stored at warmer temperatures. See the full list here.

 

Priority: Health-care workers and veterans at the VA’s long-term care facilities will have early access to the vaccine. After those populations, VA will begin vaccinating beneficiaries “based on factors such as age, existing health problems and other considerations that increase the risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19,” per a Dec. 10 news release.

 

More details came a few days later in the form of an 88-page vaccine rollout plan, issued Dec. 14. Per that report, “Populations of focus for initial COVID-19 vaccination may include” the following:

  • “Critical workforce,” to include health care providers and those “maintaining essential functions of society”
  • Staff and residents of long-term care and assisting living centers
  • Patients ages 65 and older
  • Patients with conditions making them more susceptible to COVID-19

 

A day after the report's release, VA went into more detail via a blog post: "Under this phased plan, VA will begin vaccinating health care personnel – as they are essential in continuing to care for patients throughout the pandemic. At the same time, VA will vaccinate Veteran inpatients in Community Living Centers and Spinal Cord Injury and Disorder Centers."

 

Veterans "receiving care from VA at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19" will be offered the vaccine after health care personnel, per the post.

 

Coverage: Plans call for free vaccines for all enrolled veterans who want one, once supplies are available. Supply-chain issues may also delay vaccines for rural veterans and VA care providers.

 

FAQs: VA has compiled a series of answers to frequently asked questions about the vaccine and its administration.

 

Cost and More

Per multiple reports and federal guidance, the vaccine itself will be free to all Americans, regardless of insurance. Providers may charge for giving the shot, but all insurance plans are expected to cover that portion of the bill, with some federal money available to cover that cost for uninsured individuals.

 

Per the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website, “Providers that participate in the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] COVID-19 Vaccination Program contractually agree to administer a COVID-19 vaccine regardless of an individual’s ability to pay and regardless of their coverage status, and also may not seek any reimbursement, including through balance billing, from a vaccine recipient.”

 

(TRICARE For Life users, take note: Medicare Part B will cover vaccines without coinsurance or a deductible thanks to an Oct. 28 rule change.)

 

Those seeking care outside DoD and VA channels will be part of a distribution/priority system designated on a state-by-state basis. For more information about your state, visit the links on the last pages of this National Governors Association report.



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Charleston Chapter – MOAA

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