Vets continue to experience issues receiving healthcare - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Vets continue to experience issues receiving healthcare

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Amid a flood of concerns, last week Veteran Affairs Office director Martin Manglona met with VA Hawaii officials to discuss healthcare benefits for veterans on Guam. Policies that had previously made it difficult for veterans to access healthcare, such as policies preventing them from refilling medications at Naval Hospital without an appointment, were discussed at last week's meeting.

According to Manglona, that issue was resolved; however bigger issues such as the implementation of the Choice Card Program remain.  "They have 20 people working their now to clean the bug out in the system in the call center," Manglona said. "Because when the veterans go to a private doctor, they were told to call that number, and they're having problems, it's just like when you first institute Obamacare, they had a lot of bugs in the system - now they're cleaning it up."

Manglona said the issue has the attention of VA management. He has set another meeting to follow up with VA Hawaii Director Wayne Pfeffer later this week.

But for veterans that have emailed KUAM News that are still having issues accessing the program, the implementation and clarity can't come soon enough. Since last week some were still unable to find answers as to how they can enroll or find out who the carriers are in Guam.  One veteran that emailed KUAM claimed he asked for a list of providers, but was told he wasn't authorized to access that information.

Manglona added, "The call center has been told already, that if a veteran from Guam calls them and they're name is not on the register, they will be seen by a doctor and they will take their name and call the veterans back, so it's not going to be a problem." He additionally stated that once these issues are resolved, it will greatly benefit local veterans. "You want a doctor that knows your history instead of going to a hospital every time you go in and seeing different doctors, so this will work out," he said.

Manglona assures veterans they are eligible and he continues to work on their behalf. Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo meanwhile urges any veterans who experience problems to reach out to her office for assistance.

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