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  • 9 Nov 2022 11:57 AM | Maia Stanhope (Administrator)

    Please copy and paste the article link into your browser: https://coloradosun.com/2022/11/08/colorado-amendment-e-results-gold-star-property-tax/

  • 9 Nov 2022 11:37 AM | Maia Stanhope (Administrator)

    Please click here to watch Gold Star Wife Margaret Sebern's Denver 7 interview regarding Amendment E. 

  • 7 Nov 2022 12:30 PM | Maia Stanhope (Administrator)

    Please view Gold Star Wife Chris Kinnard's interview with Channel 5 News. 


  • 5 May 2022 2:49 PM | Membership Office (Administrator)

    C & B Resolutions requiring a second presentation and vote at the 2022 National Convention can be accessed at the file linked below:

    GSW C and B Zoom Workshop Final.pdf

  • 5 Apr 2022 2:48 PM | Membership Office (Administrator)

    View the link below for an extensive article covering Gold Star Spouses Day and our National President Tamra Sipes, 

    https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/gold-star-spouses-support-military-families

  • 5 Apr 2022 9:24 AM | Membership Office (Administrator)

    Today is Gold Star Spouses Day! This day was established in 2010 by a U.S. Senate resolution authored by, Senators Burr (R-NC) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) who honored members of Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. The resolution was inspired by Gold Star Wife, Dr. Vivianne Wersel to raise awareness of our organization.

    At the end of March, we were invited to a special wreath laying at the Vietnam Wall in honor of the 5th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemoration. The senior leadership of each military branch escorted survivors to lay a wreath. There were a total of nine survivors each representing a branch of our military, two of which were Gold Star Wives. Thank you to Carol Ellinger from California a Marine Corps widow, escorted by the Commandant of the Marine Corps General David H. Berger and Ann Smith from Virginia, a Navy widow, escorted by the Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Christopher W. Grady. American Gold Star Mothers and Sons & Daughters in Touch also participated.

    As we move into spring and start to get back to normal activities in our daily lives, I hope you will have an opportunity to participate in your region conferences.

    Warmly,

    Tamra Sipes
    National President

  • 1 Dec 2021 11:04 PM | Nancy Menagh

    Flat rate for 2022 will be $1437.36.  Add on if your spouse was 100% disabled Veteran for 8 years and you were married all that time $305.28.  Aid and Attendance $356.16.  Housebound Allowance $166.85.  Full charts can be found here:  https://www.va.gov/disability/survivor-dic-rates/#surviving-spouserates-if-the-v


  • 20 Nov 2021 3:44 PM | Nancy Menagh

    Dental:

    If you have TriCare, open enrollment for dental and vision is November 8th to December 13th.  You have a choice of plans. Find out if you are eligible and sign up here:  www.benefeeds.com

    If you have ChampVa, you may enroll in dental anytime, but there are waiting periods for major services:  Find out more info here: https://www.va.gov/health-care/about-va-health-benefits/dental-care/dental-insurance/

    Currently those on ChampVa do not have a vision program, but we are hoping to add it in the next contract.

    Medical:  Here are the Questions and Answers:

    Will ChampVA pay for teleconference doctor visits?  Currently the visit must be virtual, not just by phone in order to be paid.

    If I have TriCare and are eligible for ChampVA, may I choose ChampVA?  No, if you are eligible for TriCare then you are NOT eligible for ChampVA.

    If I plan to remarry and currently on TriCare, how do I line up the coverage? (assuming you are over 55 and eligible).  The ChampVa coverage will be effective when the TriCare terminates.  You may not apply prior to the TriCare termination as the system will show that you are on TriCare. 

    If I have Medicare Part A and B, and ChampVA for Life, do I need supplemental coverage?  While nobody will ever tell you NOT to purchase extra insurance, those of us on the call testified that everything was covered without purchasing a supplement.  Some felt that there might be certain providers or “extras” offered by a supplement – massages?

    Did Walmart and Sam’s Club drop off the pharmacy for ChampVA?  There were no changes to ChampVA.  However, if you have TriCare, then Walmart and Sam’s Club are no longer available after December 15, 2021.  Walgreens and CVS have been added to the TriCare pharmacy network.

    My spouse passed in 2012 and I never signed up for ChampVa.  What can I do to get reimbursed for medical claims?  Apply for ChampVA.  As soon as approved that will do two things. It will be effective back to 2012 (date of death) AND will open a 180 day window to submit all those claims.  So, you should start gathering the claim information and have it ready for when you apply.

    How long do I have to submit claims?  I had them denied because we had a Level 5 Hurricane and was unable to get them submitted within the 180 days.  You should file an appeal citing the circumstances.

    How do I sign up for HeatheVet so that I can order my meds by mail online?  I received a letter saying I have to update somehow.  Go to and follow instructions: https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/home  You may also phone them in if you prefer.

    Should you use Meds by Mail or just go to the pharmacy?  Go to your pharmacy for anything urgent such as antibiotics.  If you go to a pharmacy you will pay a 25% cost share and your annual deductible. But get any nonurgent of long term from Meds by Mail such as maintenance medications, which are taken for longer periods of time such as blood pressure, hypertension, arthritis and chronic pain medications.

    Other MbM info:

    Medications included in the CHAMPVA pharmacy policy. Over-the-counter (OTC) items that do not need a prescription are not covered (exception for insulin and insulin supplies).

    Insulin and other refrigerated medications can only be mailed to a physical address within the continental United States; we cannot mail refrigerated items to post office boxes.

    Generic medications. To find out if your medication is available, call your MbM servicing center.

    Brand name medications are limited as Meds by Mail promotes generic medications. Call your MbM servicing center to see if the brand name is available. If it is not, you will have to use your local pharmacy and pay the 25% cost share and annual deductible.

    Certain controlled maintenance medications in Schedule 3, 4 and 5. For example, generic equivalents of Tylenol No. 3, Valium, Klonopin, Ultram and many others are available. All Schedule 2 narcotic medications such are Percocet, Ritalin, Hydrocodone and Oxycontin are NOT available and must be filled at your local pharmacy.

     Can I use Meds by Mail if I have other Rx coverage?  No, you cannot.

    How do I send in a prescription?

    Have your doctor send your prescription electronically
    If your doctor has the capability to e-prescribe, this is the fastest, safest, most convenient way to get new prescriptions to Meds by Mail. Your doctor can find MbM in their e-prescribing software by searching “Meds by Mail CHAMPVA” or by searching for telephone number 888-385-0235.

    Send your new prescriptions by mail
    Complete the Meds by Mail Prescription Order Form, VA Form 10-0426 and mail in the original prescription (not a copy) with the completed form. Make sure the patient's Social Security number is included on the form and that the prescription has the doctor's name, phone number and mailing address printed on it.

    How do I contact Meds by Mail with questions:  All the phone numbers, forms, etc. are here:  https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/programs/dependents/pharmacy/meds_by_mail.asp


  • 18 Nov 2021 3:29 PM | Nancy Menagh

    Surviving Spouse Corner: Know Your State-Level Military Benefits

    By: Dr. Vivianne Wersel

    NOVEMBER 01, 2021

    Surviving Spouse Corner: Know Your State-Level Military Benefits Photo by Chad Springer/Getty Images

    Many MOAA surviving spouses receive survivor benefits from DoD and the VA. Besides these benefits, state-level benefits are available to those who meet the criteria. State benefits are state-driven, unlike federal or VA benefits or entitlements.

     

    Surviving spouses might not be aware of these state-level benefits because there is not a one-stop-shop website for military survivors.

     

    Some states are more “military friendly” than others. The amount of benefits can vary from state to state; some offer as many as 60 and as few as 22 benefits to retired veterans, according to the Center for a New America Security (CNAS). The challenge is determining what benefits are passed on to the survivor after the veteran or servicemember dies. CNAS says military survivors receive less than 50% of what states offers to veterans. 

     

    To determine what state benefits are available to survivors, begin by looking at the individual state benefits for veterans using the CNAS benefit finder. Next, locate the state you are targeting and then search for the “Beneficiary” category. It is important to verify eligibility, as many of the webpages might be outdated.

     

    [RELATED: MOAA's Military State Report Card and Tax Guide]

     

    Some state benefits include (but, again, vary from state to state):

    • Academic scholarships
    • Property tax exemption or reduction of property tax (For example: Military surviving spouses who receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation from the VA are eligible for up to a $45,000 deduction in the assessed value of their home for property tax purposes.)
    • Survivor Benefit Plan tax exemption for state tax
    • Free admission to national parks
    • Free fishing and hunting license

     

    Being aware of state-level benefits can also help surviving spouses determine whether they want to stay or relocate to optimize their benefits. Many independent variables need to be considered, such as cost of living and proximity to family support. Knowing the state-level benefits is a helpful tool in this decision-making process.


  • 21 Oct 2021 8:00 AM | Nancy Menagh

    CVS will rejoin the TRICARE pharmacy network as of Dec. 15, while Walmart/Sam’s Club will leave the network at the same time.

    If you fill specialty medications at Walmart or Sam’s Club, you  will receive a letter and phone call from Express Scripts to assist in moving the prescription to another network specialty pharmacy. Due to the complexity of specialty medications, beneficiaries will have a 30-day grace period to move their specialty medication. The grace period is for specialty medications only; non-specialty prescriptions must be transferred by Dec. 15.

    TriCare is hosting a seminar on November 4th https://newsroom.tricare.mil/Articles/Article/2817662/register-to-join-nov-4-webinar-on-tricare-open-season?fbclid=IwAR13130Fk3VzDfwIxj6XppXLIRnTxr521jgg1EU8NnGxUdCzg0eC7bADIb4


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For additional information, or to become a Gold Star Wives Corporate Sponsor, please visit our sponsorship page.

Gold Star Wives of America, Inc

Gold Star Wives of America, Inc.

Gold Star Wives is a Congressionally Chartered non-profit service organization that is capable of providing services to the active duty and service-connected military surviving spouses.

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Birmingham, Alabama Office
P.O. Box 361986
Birmingham, AL 35236
Email: info@goldstarwives.org
Phone: 1-888-751-6350

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200 N.Glebe Road Rm 435
Arlington, VA 22203-3755

Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. is a non-profit 501(C)4 National Military Widow/Widowers Service Organization chartered by the United States Congress. Donations are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes but may be deductible as trade or business expenses. Copyright © 2021.

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