Veterans’ Voice – September 2014

Art Sloane

The Defense Health Agency, relying on medical laboratory experts and existing authority to conduct medical “demonstrations,” will restore TRICARE coverage this month for up to 40 genetic tests used in patient care. Many of these laboratory-developed tests—also called molecular pathology tests—are viewed as medically necessary. But TRICARE had stopped reimbursing for more than 100 such tests in January 2013, believing it lacked authority to pay for them when such tests are ordered by civilian physicians delivering care through TRICARE provider networks.

Did you know that you can make a contribution to a statewide charity to support homeless and in-need veterans and reduce your Arizona state income tax? The qualifying charitable tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your tax liability—better than a regular tax deduction—and is available to all Arizona taxpayers. (Note that contributions from partnerships, S corporations, trusts, estates and LLCs are not eligible for this tax credit.) Donations to the Arizona StandDowns, which are statewide outreach events aimed at assisting at-risk and homeless veterans, are eligible for this credit. As a single person or if you are married but filing separately, you may contribute up to $200. Couples who file a joint return may contribute up to $400. In addition to the Arizona tax credit, the contribution might also qualify as a charitable contribution on the donor’s federal tax return. Donations can be made online or by mailing a personal check to Arizona StandDown c/o the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness. Visit azceh.org or mail your donation to AZ StandDown c/o AZCEH, 3829 N. Third St., Suite 104, Phoenix AZ 85012. You will be provided with a receipt verifying that you have contributed to an eligible charity. You need not wait until December 31 to be eligible for this tax year. You can donate throughout the year or make recurring donations; however, you will receive a tax credit only on the $200 or $400. Tax-credit contributions are non-refundable. Always consult your tax preparer or financial adviser for specific advice. Arizona StandDowns take place in eight locations throughout the state.

Interested volunteers are invited to be part of a working committee to bring the sail (conning tower), diving planes and rudder of the USS PHOENIX (SSN-702) to a final resting place and memorial site in the City of Phoenix. The USS PHOENIX (SSN-702), a Los Angeles-class submarine, was launched on December 8, 1979 and commissioned on December 19, 1981. After a proud service life of 17 years, USS PHOENIX was decommissioned on July 29, 1998 and entered into the Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program in Bremerton, Washington for disassembly. Three working committee meetings are scheduled at the State Veterans Home Phoenix, 4141 N. Silvestre Herrera Way (former 4141 N. 3rd Street), Phoenix 85012: September 17, 4:00-6:00 p.m. Teams being formed include: Design/Construction/Maintenance team, Transportation/Storage team and Publicity/Marketing/Fundraising team. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Carol Culbertson, Chapter President, Phoenix Saguaro Chapter, The Association of the U.S. Navy, at telephone 602-943-7834, email: claudehc@yahoo.com for additional information and to sign up as a volunteer.

Art Sloane may be contacted at 480-802-6810 or artgbeard@aol.com.