VFW Action Corps Weekly – January 8, 2016
In This Issue:
1. The VFW Wants to Hear from Women Veterans
2. The VFW Announces New Student Veterans Fellowship Class
3. Military Medal Review
4. TRICARE Pharmacy Copays to Increase
5. TRICARE Pharmacy Emergency Procedures Due to Storm Goliath
1. The VFW Wants to Hear from Women Veterans: In our continued effort to better represent the needs of our membership on Capitol Hill, the VFW is asking all women veterans to take a short survey on veterans’ health care, benefits and services. We thank the more than 1,200 women veterans who have already participated. If you have not participated, click here: https://www.research.net/r/VFWSurveyofWomenVeterans.
2. The VFW Announces New Student Veterans Fellowship Class: While attending the 8th National Conference of the Student Veterans of America, the VFW announced the 10 selected fellows for the 2016 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship. The 10 student veterans are all noted leaders on their campuses and members of the VFW. They will become the second class of fellows and will embark on a semester-long experience which will have them research issues faced by veterans and make proposals on how Congress could help correct those problems. Additionally, the fellows will attend the National Legislative Conference hosted by the VFW in March and join more than 500 members of the VFW who will be storming Capitol Hill on behalf of veterans, service members and their families. For more information and to see the list of fellows, click here: http://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/2016-Articles/VFW-Announces-New-Student-Veterans-Fellowship-Class/.
3. Military Medal Review: The Department of Defense announced yesterday the results of a year-long review of the military decorations and awards program. DOD is specifically focused on combat and valor recognition, to include a review of the Medal of Honor process, as well as to create new devices. Among the key changes are:
– Implementation of new goals and processes to improve timeliness of the Medal of Honor and other valor awards;
– Standardization of the meaning and use of the “V” device as a valor-only device to ensure unambiguous and distinctive recognition for preeminent acts of combat valor;
– Creation of a new combat “C” device to distinctly recognize service members performing meritoriously under the most arduous combat conditions;
– Adoption of a common definition of Meritorious Service Under Combat Conditions to determine eligibility for personal combat awards;
– And the introduction of an “R” remote impacts device to recognize service members who use remote technology to directly impact combat operations. The “R” device would be affixed to preexisting non-combat awards and eliminates any further discussion about creating the controversial Distinguished Warfare Medal that the VFW helped to jettison in 2013.
The complete list of changes to the military decorations and awards program can be found at: http://www.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Military-Decorations-and-Awards-Review-Results.pdf.
4. TRICARE Pharmacy Copays to Increase: Starting Feb. 1, copayments for brand name drugs through TRICARE Home Delivery will increase from $16 to $20 for up to a 90-day supply. At retail pharmacies, generic drug copays go from $8 to $10, and brand name drug copays go from $20 to $24, for up to a 30-day supply. Copays for non-formulary drugs and for drugs at non-network pharmacies will also change. All drugs obtained from military pharmacies, and generic drugs through TRICARE Home Delivery, will still be at no cost to beneficiaries. TRICARE officials say beneficiaries can save up to $208 for every brand name prescription drug if they switch from a retail pharmacy to TRICARE Home Delivery. Learn more at: www.tricare.mil/pharmacy.
5. TRICARE Pharmacy Emergency Procedures Due to Storm Goliath: TRICARE has instituted emergency prescription refill procedures in areas impacted by Storm Goliath. Under this policy, TRICARE beneficiaries may refill their prescriptions at any TRICARE retail network pharmacy. Emergency prescription refill procedures are in place in Missouri, Alabama, New Mexico, and Texas from December 28, 2015 through January 27, 2016. Emergency prescription refill procedures are in place in Georgia, Louisiana, Illinois, and Mississippi from December 30, 2015 through January 29, 2016. For more information, visit: http://www.tricare.mil/Resources/DisasterInfo/DisasterAlerts/12_28_15_StormGoliath.aspx.