, Muskogee, OK

October 19, 2012

THE PEOPLE SPEAK – Veteran: I’m victim of a failed promise

— I am a 100 percent disabled veteran who earned the benefit of ChampVA for my husband. We signed on in 2000 and ChampVA has been paying ever since. In 2003 he became disabled with a serious heart condition: Five heart attacks, four bypasses, two stents, a pacemaker and defibrillator. He has only 40 percent of his heart functioning, congestive heart failure and only 20 percent ejection fraction. His condition is serious and grave.

He went on disability and received Medicare A. When asked if we wanted B we declined because we had ChampVA, which I was promised would be in effect for life and he was only 55. Recently we received a letter from ChampVA stating that we were canceled because we didn’t have Medicare B. We went to get on Medicare B and could not because they said we had to wait until January and then it would not take effect until July, and that we would have to pay a penalty of $175 a month until he was 65 years old for not taking B back in 2005. ChampVA would restore him after he was on part B.

We have no other form of medical. He desperately needs his medication and doctors or he will die. Their defense was that we didn’t read this new info in the handbook. No notice was included that said there were changes, no one sent me (the Veteran) a letter stating the change and they paid for seven years after the supposed change. I was promised that my family would be taken care of. He is ineligible for all other forms of insurance or programs.

My DAV representative here in Oklahoma could not help us. Our Senator could not help us, the Social Security Admin was not willing to help us.

I don’t understand why a letter wasn’t written to let me know that he needed to be on Medicare B. His ChampVA card says expiration in 2015 when he will be 65 and would have to get Med B. So disappointed to have been the victim of a failed promise.