"Latest Update from National Headquarters"
November 09, 2018
A Tale of Two Elections
As election results were announced, it appeared there were two different elections occurring at the same time. Republicans gained seats in the Senate and Democrats gained seats in the House. The House shifted majority control to the Democrats after 8 years of Republican control. In the Senate, Republicans increased their majority, defeating many Democratic incumbents in so-called "Red States" (states that voted for President Trump in 2016). The election was also marked for its heavy turnout of voters in a midterm election.
FEDVIP Enrollment and TRICARE Open Season Start on Monday
If a beneficiary is using a TRICARE health plan and they do not want to make any changes, they do not have to do anything during TRICARE Open Season. If you want to make changes (such as switching from individual to family plan, switch from Select to Prime or vice versa) to their health plan, you must do it during TRICARE Open Season (November 12, 2018 through December 10, 2018) or because of a Qualifying Life Event. For more information on TRICARE open season go online.
On and after November 12 until December 10, 2018, there will also be open enrollment in the Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) dental and/or vision plan through the BENEFEDS enrollment portal.
On December 31, 2018, the Defense Health Agency's (DHA) TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) will expire. The FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allows military retirees and their families, who were eligible for expiring TRDP, the opportunity to enroll in FEDVIP. The first opportunity to enroll in FEDVIP will be during the next Federal Benefits Open Season, which runs from November 12 through December 10, 2018, with coverage becoming effective on January 1, 2019. If you are currently enrolled in a TRDP plan, you will not be automatically enrolled in a FEDVIP plan for 2019 and you must enroll during the open season. If you know a retiree that does not have access to a computer, they can call 1-877-888-FEDS (1-877-888-3337), TTY number 1-877-889-5680 to enroll on FEDVIP.
HUD Report: Veterans Homeless Shrinks in 2018
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently released its annual report on homelessness. HUD's Annual Homeless Assessment Report finds the total number of reported veterans experiencing homelessness in 2018 decreased 5.4 percent compared to the previous year, falling to nearly half of the number of homeless veterans reported in 2010. Each year, thousands of local communities around the country conduct one-night 'Point-in-Time' estimates of the number of persons experiencing homelessness—in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs and in unsheltered locations. This year's estimate finds 37,878 veterans experienced homelessness in January 2018, compared to 40,020 reported in January 2017.
In announcing the latest annual estimate, HUD Secretary Ben Carson and U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie noted that all local communities are reporting reductions in the number of veterans in their shelter systems and on their streets. "We owe it to our veterans to make certain they have a place to call home," said HUD Secretary Carson. "We've made great strides in our efforts to end veteran homelessness, but we still have a lot of work to do to ensure those who wore our nation's uniform have access to stable housing."
"The reduction in homelessness among veterans announced today shows that the strategies we are using to help the most vulnerable veterans become stably housed are working," said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. "This is good news for all veterans." In 2010, the VA established a goal of eliminating veteran's homelessness by 2015. That goal was never obtained but the VA, HUD and other agencies have continued to work on the problem.
Veterans' Day 11-11-2018
In accordance with a long-standing tradition, FRA shipmates will be participating in Veterans' Day ceremonies around the country on Sunday, November 11th, 2018, which also marks FRA's 94th anniversary. These include FRA National President Bob Washington attending a Veteran's Day breakfast at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, before ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery. NP Bob Washington will be joined by National Vice President Donna Jansky and others at a special wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns following VA Secretary Robert Wilkie's address to veterans and their family members who will assemble for the occasion. Please note that FRA National Headquarters will be closed on Monday, November 12 in observance of Veteran's Day.
Veteran's Day (also known as Armistice Day) was originally created to recognize the end of World War I. This Veteran's Day marks the 100th anniversary the armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the warring nations that ended World War I that went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
A list of restaurants offering free meals and other items for veterans. Participating restaurants include Applebee's, Olive Garden, Golden Corral and more!
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