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Not sure what forum this question belongs.  Start  here.

I am retired in another country and am under the foreign medical program.  I pay for my medical treatment and then request reimbursement.  Highest bill I have submitted so far is $900. 

Now I have been diagnosed with Carotid sinus hypersensitivity which requires a pacemaker.  Two doctors from two different hospitals have agreed with the diagnosis.    Minor pressure on an carotid artery can make the heart slow down.  One doctor said it can make it stop.  Requires a pacemaker and cost around $6,000

Is there any way to get VA to say whether this condition would be covered before I have it done since I have to pay the bill first?  I am covered for heart, but because of the unusual nature of the condition I fear they may say it was not caused by anything service related.  It's my understanding I can get this done in the US either through VA or Medicare, but would prefer to not have to travel.

Don't want to be on the hook for the bill when I get get it done free in the US.  Basically looking for some kind of pre-approval from VA.




















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I know a little about the FMP since I also live overseas, but in the Philippines where we have a limited out-patient VA clinic and program. You maybe reimbursed by the VA for "Service Connected" issue

Jayco, What does your doctor say? If your doctor agrees that this procedure you need to go through is connected to your Service Connected IHD, then he/she needs to put that in writing otherw

Update: FMP came through and paid all.  So all is well.  They renewed my faith.  Still have that one small office visit that was rejected at the beginning and caused me to assume they were going

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Write or call Dept of Veterans Affairs &


If you are a veteran? And service connected for this condition I'd say yes the VA Will pay, but you may have to travel to The USA or to the Closest VA Medical Center.



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I know a little about the FMP since I also live overseas, but in the Philippines where we have a limited out-patient VA clinic and program. You maybe reimbursed by the VA for "Service Connected" issues. Meaning you pay for your medical services up front and submit the paid bill to the VA. They in turn will send you a check.

The key is to make sure that the medical issue is "Service Connected" as they will deny payment for anything else. It is NOT like walking into a VA clinic or VA hospital in the States.


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I am service connected for ischemic heart disease.  Recently been diagnosed with carotid sinus hypersensitivity and they want to put in a pacemaker. 

Even though it affects the heart, I am not knowledgeable enough to know if it would be covered.  I can get the procedure done in the US for free, so would like to have some assurance that if I pay to have it done in Thailand it would be covered by FMP.  A cardiologist told of a case where the patient was certain he was covered, so paid out of his pocket.  Later he found out his condition was not covered and he was out the money.  Not sure if it was the FMP, but he was just pointing out that I need to be certain before paying from my own pocket.

Leaving it up to me to decide if a condition is covered or not in my opinion is a major weakness of the FMP.  It's my understanding that carotid sinus hypersensitivity is fairly rare.  There should be a process where I can simply ask the FMP if the condition is covered or not, yes or no.  Simple.  Do not understand why that is so difficult.



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Foreign medical program is administerd by ChampVA. Contact Glen Johnson at ChampVA. He will tell you all about it.



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