At the New York dinner, VA Medical Prescription Benefits were discussed in a serious moment. Their availability for MILITARY VETERANS covered by MEDICARE without drug benefits does pertain to many Amherst alumni of our vintage.

Since the VA Website provides easy accessibility, Charlie Tritschler was asked to post the information for 1951 veterans. Unlike more fortunate classmates, Charlie and some others have sought out this supplement to Medicare for prescriptions and are using it without hassle.

Click on this url or type it into the web address box:

You can take it from there easily.

BACKGROUND: Even if you were not sick while in service and have significant income, you are still eligible for medical benefits by making small copayments. Bush proposed eliminating this budget busting "CATERORY 7" entitlement, but Congress has kept this assistance to veterans in place.

DOCUMENTS: You will need to have your DD214, Separation from Service, rather than your Honorable Discharge. Proof of active service is what is required. If you do not have your DD214, you may have some extra effort retrieving it because of a fire in the St. Louis warehouse. However, you just have to fill out another form.

FORMS You can complete the application FORM 10-10 EZ on line or obtain it by mail or seek more guidance by calling 1-877-222-8387. Recall no financial data need be entered or disclosed, if you are willing to make the small copayments. Monthly cost for drugs is $7.

START-UP You will need to have a $15 doctor's exam to authorize whatever prescriptions you may be taking or want. This process requires going to your nearest VA hospital. You may then have to substitute generics. You need not place yourself in the care of the VA Medical system as primary provider, given the wide availability of Medicare and Medigap insurance.

FOLLOW-UP You may not now need high cost prescriptions or drug insurance, but this process provides a form of back up. Refills require an 800 call and come by mail in a few days. There is no coverage for spouses. The VA Hospital visit is no joy, but has been helpful for many veterans. Some of our comrades in arms are in difficult straits. My phone is 765 743 2795, if you give me a low grade on this English One essay. Of course, I hope that you do not have to use the VA benefits. If so, I regret bothering you with this notice.