Of Note


VA Begins Roll Out of Veterans Health ID Cards


VA has announced the phased roll out of newly designed, more secure identification cards. The new cards are distinguished by additional security features and will have a different look and feel.

In addition to being more secure, the card has been transformed into a multi-purpose Veterans Health Identification Card (VHIC). Similar to a typical health insurance card, the VHIC displays the veteran’s Member ID, a new unique identifier, as well as a Plan ID, reflecting the veteran’s enrollment in VA health care.

“VA is committed to providing high quality health care while ensuring the personal security of veterans,” said Secretary Shinseki. “These new identification cards are an important step forward in protecting our nation’s heroes from identity theft and other personal crimes.”

The VHIC is personalized to display the emblem of the veteran’s branch of service. It also provides features that make it easier to use, such as the addition of the characters “V” and “A” in Braille to help blind and visually impaired veterans. The card also contains VA phone numbers and emergency care instructions.

The VHIC replaces the Veteran Identification Card (VIC), introduced in 2004. As part of a phased rollout, starting in March 2014, the card was only offered to newly enrolled and other veterans who had not been issued a VIC. Then, in early April, VA will begin a three-month effort to automatically issue the more secure VHIC to current VIC cardholders.

While not required to receive VA health care, all enrolled veterans are encouraged to obtain a VHIC.

Enrolled veterans can receive more information about the VHIC by visiting their VA medical facility enrollment coordinator, accessing webpage www.va.gov/healthbenefits/vhic, calling 1-877-222-VETS (8387), or by inquiring in person at their local VA health care facility.

“In Remembrance” Error, Additional Clarifications


The In Remembrance section of the Autumn 2013 BVA Bulletin listed the name of Carl E. Foley. This was an unfortunate and regrettable error for which the editor seeks the forbearance of Bulletin readers everywhere and especially that of Carl and his family.

The issue also reported in its Field Service column on a Braille U.S. Flag memorial unveiling in the Empire State Plaza in Albany. The ceremony, attended by National Service Officer Wanda Grover, began with remarks by Joel Evans, Deputy Executive Director of the New York Division of Veterans Affairs. His title was mistakenly stated in the column as a Veterans Affairs Counselor.