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Homefront Help

February 15, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Connections
E-mail About the Author

Homefront Help is SIGNAL Connections’ effort to support U.S. service members, veterans and their families. The column highlights programs that offer resources and assistance to the military community ranging from care packages to benefits and everything in between. In that same spirit, Homefront Help presents opportunities for readers to donate time, offer resources and send words of thanks to those who sacrifice for freedom. Programs that provide services are listed in red. Opportunities for the public to reach out to service members are listed in blue. Each program description includes a link to the organization's website, when available. Homefront Help also has a Facebook page where visitors can gather and share information.

Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces

The Employer Partnership (EP) of the Armed Forces exists to link U.S. employers with service members, veterans and their families. Through the initiative, the military community can receive help leveraging its military training and experience for civilian career opportunities with national, regional and local employer partners. The organization has program support managers in 25 locations who serve as liaisons with human resources departments at companies and agencies on behalf of the military. The managers also post information about job fairs and other events as well as work with service members to refine their applications, resume writing and interview skills. Career counselors work to help members of the military community achieve career goals.

Through the EP, troops can gain advantages over other job hunters because the program's employer partners understand military training and may have necessary credentialing and licensing to enable veterans to begin work right away. Employers who participate benefit by accessing a free link to those in the military community looking for civilian jobs. To access all of the EP resources, users must create an account.

Continued Health Care Benefit Program

Troops with lag time between the end of their military service and the beginning of their civilian careers can choose the Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP) for their medical insurance needs. The program offers temporary health coverage for 18 to 36 months after TRICARE eligibility ends. Those who qualify can purchase CHCBP coverage within 60 days of loss of eligibility for regular TRICARE or Transitional Assistance Management Program coverage. The program is administered by Humana Military Healthcare Services Incorporated and offers benefits comparable to TRICARE Standard. The main difference is that participants must pay the premiums of $988 per quarter for individuals and $2,213 per quarter for families.

TRICARE Young Adult Program

Those still participating actively in TRICARE will be able to access new benefits soon. Beginning this spring, qualified, unmarried military dependents up to the age of 26 can purchase TRICARE coverage on a month-to-month basis as long as they are ineligible for their own employer-sponsored health coverage. Available through the TRICARE Young Adult Program (TYAP), the insurance extends coverage past the previous age 21 or age 23 (for full-time college students) limits. Premium costs for the program have not been finalized, but the National Defense Authorization Act specifies that rates must cover the full cost of the program. At first, TYAP will be a premium-based TRICARE Standard benefit. According to the Defense Department, eligible family members who receive health care before the date the program is implemented fully may want to purchase retroactively. They should save their receipts, and premiums will have to be paid back to January 1, 2011, to obtain reimbursement.

 

The SIGNAL Connectionsstaff encourages readers to take advantage of the programs mentioned in this column and to pass along the information. In addition, if you know of a program that is helping service personnel, please let us know about it. Submit that information to SIGNAL's news editor.