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AARP launches new tool to help Hawaii veterans, military families

The Maui News

AARP launched a new tool to bring together valuable information and resources to help Hawaii veterans, military families and their caregivers navigate their health care options.

The Veterans and Military Families Health Benefits Navigator provides veterans statewide with “critical information” about what is required to qualify for health care benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or Department of Defense.

“Now more than ever, veterans and military families need help accessing the health care benefits they earned serving our country,” said Keali’i Lopez, AARP Hawaii State Director. “This free, one-stop resource will help make the process less confusing and overwhelming for veterans and military families as they navigate their options.”

AARP officials said that even before the pandemic, veterans and their families struggled with where to begin when deciding the best path for their health care needs: VA health care, Military Tricare, Medicare, private insurance or Medicaid.

Recently, more than 340,000 veterans have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and VA medical centers have reported almost 15,000 deaths from the disease. In addition, of the 112,625 veterans living in Hawaii, only 26 percent have utilized their earned benefits at VA health care, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The AARP Veterans and Military Families Health Benefits Navigator can help families learn more about health benefits provided through the VA and DOD, understand how to apply for and enroll in VA health care and identify how to get help from representatives who have experience and knowledge of the VA’s process for awarding benefits.

The navigator tool is available at www.AARP.org/VetsHealthNavigator.

For more information and other resources for veterans, visit www.aarp.org/veterans.

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