RI Veterans: Did you know? 7 October 21 – John A. Cianci

by John A Cianci, Department Veterans Service Officer, 

                             Italian American War Veterans (ITAM)

Q – I am a married veteran collecting 90% combined disability and unable to work due to my disabilities; does the VA offer any dental care for my family or me? – Ron from Burrillville RI

A – VA dental care is not available for most veterans and their families, unless:

(1)  The dental work is a result of a VA rated service connected disability; only the veteran would be entitled to dental care

(2)  If you are a Veteran who has recently served (e.g. OEF/OIF/OND), you may be entitled to a one-time course of free dental care, but you must apply for dental care within 180 days of your discharge (under conditions other than dishonorable) from a period of active duty of 90 days or more.

(3)  Veteran is a 100% service-connected combined VA disability, however, only the veteran is eligible for dental care

(4)  You are currently enrolled in VA VRE program and the dental work is hindering your ability to complete the training.

In your case Ron, it does not appear you are eligible for dental care from the VA. However, read today’s column on private dental insurance available thru a program offered by the VA.  

Understanding VA Dental Health Care Options for Veterans  

Did you know? TheVeterans Administration (VA) only offers dental care to a limited category of Veterans, however, the VA has a program to assist Veterans purchase private insurance for their family and themselves.

According to the VA website, Delta Dental of California and MetLife offer private insurance coverage for eligible veterans in the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP).

The Department of Veterans Affairs Dental Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2016 extends VADIP until December 31, 2021 to include Veterans who are enrolled in the VA health care system and beneficiaries and their dependents of the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the VA (CHAMPVA) can enroll in the program.

VADIP offers eligible individuals the opportunity to purchase discounted dental insurance coverage that includes diagnostic services, preventive services, endodontic and other restorative services, surgical services, and emergency services.

Each individual covered by the dental insurance plan will pay the entire premium for coverage under the dental insurance plan, in addition to the full cost of any copays.  Enrollment is voluntary and does not affect eligible individuals’ entitlement to existing VHA outpatient dental services and treatment. 

Coverage for VADIP dental services is provided in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

VETTIP – USAA offers dental insurance for eligible veterans and their dependents. Be smart and compare VA dental care options with private providers offering dental insurance. 

Multiple plan options allow individuals to select a plan that provides benefits and premiums that meet their dental needs and budget. You may click each insurer’s link for specific information regarding registration, rates, and services, or call Delta Dental at 1-855-370-3303 or MetLife at 1-888-310-1681.


Am I eligible for the VA Dental Insurance Program?

You may be eligible for VADIP if you meet one of the requirements listed below.

One of these must be true. You’re:

A Veteran who’s enrolled in VA health care, or

The current or surviving spouse or dependent child of a Veteran or service member, and you’re enrolled in the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the VA (CHAMPVA)
Note: Insurance carriers may offer separate coverage options for dependents who aren’t CHAMPVA beneficiaries.

VADIP provides coverage throughout the United States and its territories, including Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Why might I want to buy private dental insurance through VADIP as a Veteran?

While some Veterans enrolled in VA health care are eligible for free dental care from our providers, many are not. Others may be eligible for free care for some, but not all, of their dental needs.

If you’re not eligible for free VA dental care, VADIP can help you buy private dental insurance at a reduced cost.

If you’re eligible for free VA care for some of your dental needs, you can buy a VADIP plan if you want added dental insurance. Signing up for VADIP won’t affect your ability to get free VA dental care.

What types of dental care does VADIP cover, and how much will it cost?

VADIP plans cover many common dental procedures. These may include:

  • Diagnostic services
  • Preventive dental care
  • Root canals and other services to manage oral health problems and restore function (called endodontic or restorative services)
  • Dental surgery
  • Emergency dental care

The costs for your coverage will depend on the insurance company and plan you choose.

Based on your plan, you’ll pay:

  • The full insurance premium for each individual on your plan
  • Any required copays when you get care

Read coverage details and compare VADIP plans and premium rates from:
Delta Dental

How do I enroll in a VADIP plan?

Once you’ve chosen a Delta Dental or MetLife VADIP plan, you can enroll online at:

Delta Dental or

After you enroll, you can also use your insurance provider’s website to manage your plan and benefits online.

I enrolled in the VADIP pilot program. Do I need to enroll again?

Yes. The VADIP pilot program ran from 2013 to 2017. If you were covered during that time, you’ll need to enroll again to get new coverage. You should know that some of the plan options and fees may have changed.

How long can I keep this dental insurance?

At this time, we’re allowed by law to continue this program until December 31, 2021. Please check back for more information in the future.

What if I have more questions?

For questions about Delta Dental, call 855-370-3303.

For questions about MetLife, call 888-310-1681.

The current limited access of dental care for veterans, disabled veterans and their families is inadequate.  

“Permit me Sir to add, that Policy alone in our Present Circumstances, seem to demand that every Satisfaction which can reasonably be requested, should be given to those Veteran Troops who, in the recent Conflict, have been so long and so faithfully serving the States . . .” 

General George Washington to Governor Jonathan Trumbull of Connecticut, June 28th, 1781


Tuesday, October 12, 2021 Northern Rhode island Coffee House, American Legion Post #88, Chapel Street, Harrisville, RI , 9pm-1100pm. All Veterans and their guest are invited to attend. Refreshments will be provided, and Town of Burrillville Veterans Service officer will be available to assist veterans. are provides. More information Berard-Desjarlais American Legion Post 88 Burrillville,  

Sunday, November 7, 2021,  Salute To Veterans, Comedy Show 5pm doors open, show starts 600pm, ComedyFactoryRI and Italian American War Veterans of United States, Inc. host the show at Assembly Theatre , Harrisville RI. The event is free for all members and their guest of the town of Burrillville’s American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War post (contact your post commanders for tickets) and members of Vietnam Veterans James Ray Chapter. All other tickets will be $10.    Beer and wine will be available , along with other refreshments. All attendees will be encouraged to bring canned goods for the town’s local food pantry.   

Saturday, November 20, 2021 Comedy/Dinner show at the Naval Officers Club, Newport RI. John Perrotta’s ComedyfactoryRI comedians will perform at the Veteran Fundraiser. Tickets are $50 per person, dinner at 5:00. Show starts at 6:00PM.    Event is sponsored by the Italian American War Veterans and all veterans residing at the Veterans Home the event will be free, to include a ticket for their guest.    Sponsorships for a veteran attending from the Veterans Home, are encouraged for those who can’t attend, $50 (which covers the veteran and a guest). More information contact ITAMVET or (401)-677-9838. Tickets also available on 



Applebee’s – Military Discount … With more than 2,000 locations, Applebee’s is a family grill restaurant. Applebee’s gives 10% off for active duty and veteran. Last verified 07/31/2028

Denny’s, Hartford Save Johnston Offers 10% discount for veterans and active duty. Denny’s is a table service diner-style restaurant chain.  Last verified 07/31/2028 (PS I had breakfast there on Saturday).

Outback Steakhouse 10% Discount to active and veterans. Last verified 07/28/2021

99 Restaurant & Pub: The 99 Restaurant & Pub offers a 10% military discount to members of Veterans Advantage. Available at select locations only. Bring valid military ID


Advance Auto Parts 10% for Active Duty, Veterans and families. Last verified 07/28/2021 

Bass Pro Shops: Bass Pro Shops offers a 5% discount to active duty military, reservists, and National Guard. Sign up and verify your status online or bring your military ID when you shop at your nearest Bass Pro store (source).

BJs Wholesale Reduced membership fee. J’s offers all military personnel over 25% off their Membership. Last verified 07/28/2021

Lowes. Enroll in the Lowe’s Military Discount Program to Activate Your 10% Discount – Our way of saying “Thank You” to our active duty, retired and military veterans and their spouses with a 10% discount on eligible items. 

Verification of your military status is fast and easy through our partner, is our trusted technology partner in helping to keep your personal information safe.

GameStop is offering a 10% in-store military discount on all pre-owned products, collectibles, and select new products. Available to current and former military members who bring any valid proof of service or when they verify through 

Home Depot Home Depot offers a 10% OFF military discount on regularly priced merchandise for in-store purchases for active duty, retired military, and reservists at participating locations. Customers are required to show a valid government-issued military ID card to redeem this offer.

Kohls 15% Kohl’s offers active military, veterans, retirees and their immediate family members a 15% discount on purchases made on Mondays, in store only. In order to receive the military discount, eligible customers must present proper identification along with any tender type.


We didn’t want to wait for Veteran’s Day to express our appreciation and gratitude for your service. That’s why every Team Car Care owned and operated Jiffy Lube® service center is offering our BEST discount of 15% OFF as a “Thank You” to the men and women of our Armed Forces for their service to our country. *Disclaimer*- I.D. required. No coupon is required. Excludes batteries and brakes, alignment, and diagnostic services. Available only at select locations listed below:

Tioque Ave, Coventry RI

Bald Hill Road, Warwick RI

Park Ave, Cranston RI

Michaels . Michaels Stores offers a 15% OFF military discount on the entire in-store purchase including sale items for active duty, retired military, guard, reservists, veterans, and family members. How to get, 

1.    Create an Account. Log in or create a Michaels Rewards account.

2.    Get Verified. Provide your military information to get verified instantly.

3.    Go Shopping! To use your discount online and in store, just sign in to your account or provide your Michaels Rewards phone number at checkout.

O’Reilly Auto Parts 10% discount on in store items for Active Duty, Veterans and families. Last verified 3/4/21.

If you are a retailer and or a veteran aware of a business not listed above, please forward,  the business’s name, location, and military and veteran discount offered.

Have an event, meeting, other pertinent veteran information, or email questions or help needed, contact the Italian American War Veteran Service Officer, John A Cianci,, ITAM Office 1-(401)677-9VET(9838)

To read all columns in this series go to:


John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.

Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.

Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, United Veterans Council of Rhode Island, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.

He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp For Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.