American Legion Disappointed in Tentative Military Budget

Posted on May 25th, 2016

WASHINGTON (May 24, 2016) – The American Legion expressed dismay for a 2017 pay-and-benefits proposal for military members.

According to Military Times, the budget by Congress would increase the existing pay gap between service members and their civilian counterparts due to small pay increases. While the House is in favor of a full pay raise, the Senate opposes it. The proposed budget also includes slashing commissary discounts, forcing military families to pay an enrollment fee for health care, and decreased funding for basic allowance for housing.

“The caps put in place by the Budget Control Act are doubly painful.  We’ve already warned how these cuts weaken our fighting forces and leave our military unready to fight in a dangerous world. Now we’re seeing that they can’t even keep up the back end promises and take care of troops and their families.  This has to stop,” said American Legion National Commander Dale Barnett. “We can’t keep asking the military to bear the brunt of America’s burdens and continue to turn around and ask them to give more.”

With a current membership of 2.2 million wartime veterans, The American Legion, www.legion.org, was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through nearly 14,000 posts across the nation.

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Media Relations Manager: Crystal Jackson, (202) 263-5758, cell  (202) 320-0408, office, cjackson@legion.org



American Legion to VA Secretary: ‘People Don’t Die for Space Mountain’

Posted on May 24th, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS  (May 23, 2016) –The leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization took exception to VA Secretary Robert McDonald’s comparison of VA wait times to what is experienced by visitors at Disneyland.

“The American Legion agrees that the VA Secretary’s analogy between Disneyland and VA wait times was an unfortunate comparison because people don’t die while waiting to go on Space Mountain,” American Legion National Commander Dale Barnett said. “We also disagree with the substance of his comment because wait times are very important to not just the satisfaction quotient, but in some cases the veterans health.  All of VA needs to be exceptionally good, not just ‘on average.’”

With a current membership of 2.2 million wartime veterans, The American Legion, www.legion.org, was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through nearly 14,000 posts across the nation.



VA Announces Community Care Call Center to Help Veterans with Choice Program Billing Issues

Posted on May 17th, 2016

WASHINGTON – Veterans can now work directly with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to resolve debt collection issues resulting from inappropriate or delayed Choice Program billing. In step with MyVA’s efforts to modernize VA’s customer-focused, Veteran-centered services capabilities, a Community Care Call Center has been set up for Veterans experiencing adverse credit reporting or debt collection resulting from inappropriately billed Choice Program claims. Veterans experiencing these problems can call 1-877-881-7618 for assistance.

“As a result of the Veterans Choice Program, community providers have seen thousands of Veterans. We continue to work to make the program more Veteran-friendly,” said Dr. David Shulkin, Under Secretary for Health. “There should be no bureaucratic burden that stands in the way of Veterans getting care.”

The new call center will work to resolve instances of improper Veteran billing and assist community care medical providers with delayed payments. VA staff are also trained and ready to work with the medical providers to expunge adverse credit reporting on Veterans resulting from delayed payments to providers.

VA is urging Veterans to continue working with their VA primary care team to obtain necessary health care services regardless of adverse credit reporting or debt collection activity.
VA acknowledges that delayed payments and inappropriately billed claims are unacceptable and have caused stress for Veterans and providers alike. The new call center is the first step in addressing these issues. VA presented The Plan to Consolidate Community Care in October of 2015 that outlines additional solutions to streamline processes and improve timely provider payment.

For more details about the Veterans Choice Program and VA’s progress, visit: www.va.gov/opa/choiceact . Veterans seeking to use the Veterans Choice Program can call1-866-606-8198 to find out more about the program, confirm their eligibility and schedule an appointment.



PAID UP FOR LIFE PRICING Effective June 1, 2016

Posted on May 10th, 2016

The following is provided for your information:

As most of you are aware, the membership dues increased $5 in January of this year 2016.  Also part of the resolution to increase dues stated that the PUFL rates would remain the same until June 1, 2016 at which time the Finance Commission would adjust the rate to reflect prudent actuarial assumptions.  Last week at the National Spring meetings in Indianapolis, based on a report from actuaries McCready and Keene, Inc., the Finance Commission set PUFL pricing effective June 1, 2016 as follows:

PAID UP FOR LIFE PRICING EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2016
18-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70-79 80-89 90+
$1,535 $1,399 $1,229 $1,025 $815 $599 $429 $329
This table is used for all paid-up-for-life pricing for posts’ dues rates of $48 or less.  For alll dues rates $48.01 and higher, telephone customer service at 317-860-3111 or 800-433-3318.

If you have members interested in buying a PUFL, I recommend they do it prior to the new rates effective June 1, 2016.



American Legion Backs ‘Veterans First Act’

Posted on May 5th, 2016

WASHINGTON (May 4, 2016) – The head of the nation’s largest  veterans organization praised the recently-introduced Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs comprehensive omnibus bill, known as the “Veterans First Act.”

“There is much to like in this bill,” said National Commander of The American Legion Dale Barnett. “Since the wait time manipulations and other irregularities were exposed in 2014, The American Legion has demanded accountability. This legislation will shorten the grievance process, make it easier to dismiss VA officials that  breach the trust of the veterans that they are supposed to serve and allow VA to offer competitive pay and incentives to attract talented physicians and other professionals.  We hope that Congress will pass and the president will sign this bill quickly.”

Barnett pointed out that accountability is a term that all veterans are familiar with. “I said during my congressional testimony in February that the men and women of the U.S. armed forces understand what the word means. When asked to stand in harm’s way – knowing that fulfillment of obligations and responsibilities can cost their lives – they accept without hesitation.  And they go about the business of executing their missions. That’s accountability. The VA Secretary needs to spread  that spirit throughout the entire VA system.”

If passed, this legislative will expand caregiver benefits to include the families of military veterans of all eras. Also, the bill includes improvement to every aspect of VA operations, including the G.I. Bill and prescription medications.

With a current membership of 2.2 million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through nearly 14,000 posts across the nation.

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Media Contact: In Washington: Crystal Jackson, (202) 263-5758, cell  (202) 320-0408, cjackson@legion.org; Indianapolis: John Raughter, (317) 630-1350 / cell (317) 441-8847,  jraughter@legion.org



American Legion National Commander calls for passage of Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act

Posted on April 21st, 2016

WASHINGTON (April 18, 2016) – The head of the nation’s largest veterans service organization welcomed a bill introduced in the Senate last week that would provide benefits to veterans exposed to radioactive fallout while serving in the Marshall Islands.

“The American Legion Magazine recently reported on the enormous health toll environmental exposure has had on clean-up workers who served at Enewetak Atoll and other areas that conducted nuclear testing,” said American Legion National Commander Dale Barnett. “Many of the workers, particularly those involved in operations conducted after the actual testing, are routinely denied benefits. Plutonium has a half-life of 24,000 years. The fact that testing ended in the 1960s is irrelevant to those who had to clean up the waste in the following decades. The cancer rate among these veterans far exceeds those in similar age  groups.  Delegates at our 2014 National Convention  in Charlotte unanimously passed a resolution calling for VA to examine and treat veterans exposed to environmental hazards.  As one veteran said, ‘invisible bullets entered out bodies.’”

Barnett commended Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.; Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Rep. Mark Takai, D-Hawaii, for introducing the Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act, which provides for  the treatment and service-connection presumption of certain disabilities that could be related to service in the cleanup operations.

“Many of these veterans waited long enough to receive the  benefits that they deserve,” Barnett said. “Unfortunately, some have died while waiting. I urge our members and other concerned Americans to contact their congressional delegations and ask that they pass this bipartisan legislation and put an end to this wait.”

With a current membership of 2.2 million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through nearly 14,000 posts across the nation.

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Media Contact: Andrea Dickerson, (202) 263-2982 / cell (202) 417-4090 adickerson@legion.org; John Raughter, (317) 630-1350 / cell (317) 441-8847,  jraughter@legion.org



I Am The American Legion: Leah Morales

Posted on March 17th, 2016

Legionnaire Leah Morales talks with The American Legion about starting a Junior Shooting Sports program at their post in Bryan, Texas and why she and her husband belong to The American Legion. Click here for the link to the story –  http://www.legion.org/magazine/videos/PLD74653C32937FDD6/99bnM-bA0KU



PCI Notices

Posted on February 24th, 2016

Legionnaires,

At the Midwinter Conference in January this year the Department of Texas approved partnering with PCI and to produce a membership book as part of our 100th Anniversary Celebration.

Members will be receiving a post card and/or an email that states “Important Verification Due” this is to help us verify your current information and start the process to choose what information about yourself goes into the membership book.

As part of our 100th Anniversary Celebration we are giving you the chance to leave your personnel legacy behind, you can choose to include details about your military and legion service. You will also be able to include 2 photos of yourself, one from your military service and one from now our your Legion service.

This project is about leaving our part of the history for the next 100 years.

 

John McKinny

State Commander



Renew your membership online

Posted on November 4th, 2015

Your annual dues help support the programs of The American Legion in your community, state and nation. American Legion programs and service include: Troop Support, Child Welfare Foundation, American Legion Baseball, our Department Service Officers, Family Support Network, Veterans Job Fairs and many other programs.

To renew your dues, simply click on the “Renew Your Membership Online” button at the right top of this website. You can also set up your dues to be automatically paid each year while you are on the renewal site.

Thank you for your continued support of The American Legion and ensuring that we remain the most powerful voice in American on behalf of our veterans, our servicemembers, their families and in communities across the nation.



LegionCare program now improved!

Posted on September 14th, 2015

The Legionnaire Insurance Trust (LIT) is pleased to announce some important changes to the LegionCare program just revealed at the 97th Annual American Legion National Convention earlier this month.

The first of these exciting updates – starting for enrollments after 1/1/2015, anyone enrolled in LegionCare will be covered for as long as they remain a member of The Legion Family. No need to re-enroll every 5 years!

The second change, and what we think is the most important – All “Legion Family” members – Legion, senior ALA, and senior SAL – in good standing are now eligible for the coverage.  The Legionnaire Insurance Trust has been working hard to provide valuable benefits to your entire family and we look forward to continuing to serve  veterans’ insurance needs.

Those “Legion Family” members stopping by our booth were able to enroll in the LIT’s LegionCare program and have their coverage become effective immediately, but this opportunity is not restricted to just those who were at the National Convention. Every eligible “Legion Family” member may enroll, but the member must sign-up to be covered.  Please keep the momentum going after the convention and spread the word about these exciting changes to LegionCare.

Reminder about LegionCare:

What is LegionCare? LegionCare provides up to $1,000 of 24 hours accidental death coverage to an enrolled member.  And if an enrolled members suffers a covered loss while performing “official Legion Family business”, there is an additional $4,000 benefit* –bringing the total to up to $5,000.

How do I enroll? Just go online to www.TheLIT.com/No-Cost-LegionCare and fill in the requested information.  By enrolling on-line, your coverage will begin immediately and you will get an e-mail confirmation within minutes.  Those without access to the internet may enroll by calling the LIT’s toll-free number – (800) 235-6943 – and our customer service area will process your enrollment over the phone.

Don’t delay – sign-up today!