I have a long established service connected injury involving my right knee and resulting arthritis. I have recently been approved for care in the VA system because of that condition and was "priority 2". It wasn't ever necessary to go to the VA in the past except for the initial evaluation but that was long ago. It was apparently clear cut and only involved a couple of visits and then was considered "static".
Now, 40 years later, I am retired and still have health insurance through my spouse. She plans to retire within the next year or two and we both will be medicare eligible. I was diagnosed with reactive arthritis 25 years ago but that had nothing to do with the military. I have had problems with complications from systemic inflammation and interested in care through the VA for my future needs. Since I am eligible, will my future care be only for arthritis in my knee or arthritis anywhere it exists since the treatments overlap.
I had bilateral total knee replacements a couple of years ago but not at the VA. The VA did see me afterwards and adjusted the disability rating from 20% to 30%. That seemed overly generous because technically, the arthritis in my right knee doesn't exist anymore. I have plenty of arthritis elsewhere
My hope is that the VA system will be my "medicare supplement" for medications and whatever else arises. I am interested in being referred to the VA in Denver and perhaps seeing a Dr. Caplan. He gave the talk recently for Spondyllitis Association of America about AS. It spoke to me since I have a related disease. I was seen last year at a local VA and they said they would be happy to refer me to the rheumatologist at that VA. I didn't ask if I could travel elsewhere. I probably could go to the University of Colorado where he also practices. I would rather it be through the VA and I can travel at my own expense if necessary. I would be interested in his recommendations but probably get ongoing care locally. Denver would work well because it isn't that far and I would have a reason to visit a relative.