For many veterans, The American Legion is a source of community and camaraderie in small towns and big cities for its 2 million members. With about 13,000 posts throughout the country, veterans who join become part of a support system with others who have served their country. But the Legion is not just about a shared fellowship between members — it includes passionate advocacy for veterans’ well-being and lifting each other up when there might be adversity.
Advocates for veterans also know that they may have unique health needs that go beyond routine care. This might include physical challenges related to their service, such as traumatic brain injury, hearing and vision loss or spinal cord injuries. It may also mean mental health conditions and trauma-informed needs, such as substance abuse treatment, depression and PTSD. Thus, care for veterans may also require wraparound services that help address all of their needs.
That’s where a relationship between The American Legion and UnitedHealthcare can help.
The alliance allows American Legion members who are also UnitedHealthcare members access a referral network through UnitedHealthcare to help address social determinants of health – the conditions outside the doctor’s office that can affect one’s health. These members can also be connected to a concierge-like service for local resources, helping to assess their needs and connect them to the right assistance, whether that’s for food, housing, transportation or employment.
Dr. Garry Choy, deputy chief medical officer for UnitedHealth Group, has seen the importance of holistic care for veterans firsthand. With his clinical practice experience in the VA, as well as his deep involvement in clinical systems, he understands the challenges that arise for veterans when navigating the health care system. Between the VA system, the TRICARE health care program and private health insurance, oftentimes veterans aren’t sure where to turn for help, which may create gaps in care. Turning to a trusted organization, like The American Legion, may help streamline that process.
“Given the geographic distribution of VA clinical sites, some veterans travel significant distance to seek care from VA sites. When accessing care from non-VA sites, veterans may face challenges in finding and searching for an in-network provider depending on their locale,” Dr. Choy said. “Veterans can benefit from getting the care they need, when and where they need it. And The American Legion knows their members well – they can inform, engage and assist their veteran members in fully utilizing their benefits.”
In addition, in 2021, UnitedHealthcare will offer its Medicare Advantage Patriot plans that complement the coverage a veteran might already be receiving from the VA or TRICARE. These plans will provide broad access to care and benefits like dental, vision and fitness, and nearly all will have a $0 premium, and many will include a Part B premium rebate – up to $100 per month.
As for The American Legion, it offers a variety of services for its members, including:
- Personalized assistance with veterans benefits through accredited service officers
- Peer support services for veterans, like the Buddy Check Program, which creates a connection to veterans who may be isolated to make sure they are well.
- Support for veterans with employment services, such as virtual career fairs
“For 101 years, The American Legion has supported veterans and their specific needs,” said James W. Oxford, National Commander for The American Legion. “Through this corporate alliance, our members, as well as our service officers, will have access to potentially lifesaving resources that they can personally use. It will allow them to help their fellow Legionnaires in need of assistance. We are pleased to join with UnitedHealthcare to ensure our nation’s veterans get the assistance they need and have earned through their service to our country.”
When veterans are properly supported, it’s a testament to their value and acknowledgement of their commitment to service to their country. Increasing and simplifying access to care and essential support services may help these service men and women, no matter how they served, achieve lasting wellness.
To learn more about the alliance between The American Legion and UnitedHealthcare, visit UHCandTheAmericanLegion.com.
To find Medicare plans in your area, visit UHCMedicareHealthPlans.com.
Plans are insured through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliated companies. For Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans: A Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract and a Medicare-approved Part D sponsor. Enrollment in these plans depends on the plan’s contract renewal with Medicare.
The American Legion is not an insurer and does not endorse or recommend particular products to individuals. UnitedHealthcare provides financial support to The American Legion for the sponsorship. You do not have to be a veteran to be eligible for the Medicare Advantage Patriot plan. Benefits and features vary by plan/area. Limitations and exclusions apply