Veterans Choice Program Expansions Begin – What this Means to Veterans
A federal law will soon be helping more veterans obtain the health care and services they need. The Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015, signed into law July 31, 2015, makes some eligibility changes to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Veterans Choice Program that will allow more veterans to take advantage of the flexibility in care.
The Veterans Choice Program allows veterans who have been waiting for health care from the VA for more than 30 days to obtain care from non-VA facilities under VA coverage. The program also provides this service to veterans who live more than 40 miles away from a VA medical care facility, or those who face excessive travel burdens.
Since its introduction, the Veterans Choice Program has hit some issues with eligibility requirements. The 40-mile rule has undergone scrutiny and revision after distance calculations were deemed unreasonable. Now, the new federal law is removing another common eligibility barrier.
Effective immediately, enrollment in VA health care prior to August 1, 2014 is no longer a requirement to meet the basic eligibility rules. This means newer enrollees are eligibile to use the Veterans Choice Program as long as they meet the wait time or travel eligibility rules.
Do More with Your VA Benefits – Disability Help Group Can Show You How
Many veterans are unaware that they may be eligible for veterans disability benefits for common health conditions. If you suffer from chronic pain, hearing loss, PTSD, or other service-related conditions, you may be eligible for a disability rating and benefits. Contact Disability Help Group for information on your right to veterans disability benefits. Contact us online or call us at 1-(800)-800-3332.