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COSTA RICA'S LEADING ENGLISH LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER

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MEDICAL SERVICES CHARGE

Why is it that Health Vision ischarging $200 per year to U.S. veteransfor medical services that are covered byTri-Care and/or Champus?The Clínica Bíblica in San Joséoffers the same services at no cost. Arewe vets being ripped off? We vets arenot rich — $200 each is a large sum! Iwant to know what is going on.–Richard Bellinar, LiberiaHealth Vision spokesman Dr. OscarCambronero told The Tico Times the companydropped its policy of charging U.S.vets $200 “months ago.” He couldn’t bepegged down for an exact date or anexplanation, but reiterated Health Visionno longer charges veterans and theirdependents with Tri-Care coverage.As Richard Bellinar points out, the privateClínica Bíblica does not charge annualor co-payments for Tri-Care, either.The private Hospital CIMA justexpanded its coverage for U.S. veterans. Itopened an Office of Veterans Claims andAssistance April 15 to help veterans withTri-Care and Foreign Medicare Programinsurances thanks to a partnership withVeterans Care International.Under the Tri-Care plan, the U.S. governmentpays all medical bills for U.S.vets, except those for certain proceduressuch as organ transplants (TT, Oct. 1,2004).Clínica Bíblica estimates 5,000 U.S.veterans live in Costa Rica, along with10,000-15,000 family members.

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