By Larry Catt/Herald-Times/Bloomington, Indiana
June 6, 2009
Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care is viewed by veterans as one of the most important benefits available to them. Unfortunately, not all veterans are eligible for health care because their income is considered too high to allow enrollment.
Changes are under way to the enrollment standards. I believe the following information from a Department of Veterans Affairs article provides some excellent insight into past health care enrollment standards and changes to the enrollment standards due to take place this month.
In 2003, VA decided to stop enrolling veterans who were considered to have high income and no service connected disability. This was done because funding for the VA Health Care System was not adequate to meet the demand for services.
On June 15, new regulations are scheduled to take effect that will allow VA to reopen health care enrollment to Veterans whose household income does not exceed the current VA income thresholds (means test threshold and /or geographical means test threshold) by more than 10 percent.
If you applied for enrollment after Jan. 1, 2009, and you were denied health care because your income exceeded the VA income threshold, VA will determine if you are now eligible once the new regulations are in place.
You won’t need to submit another application.
You will be notified by mail if you are eligible under this new rule.
If you applied for enrollment before Jan. 1, 2009, and were denied because your income was too high, VA encourages veterans to reapply.
VA has an enrollment calculator to assist in determining if you are eligible for enrollment under this new regulation.
You may access this calculator at: www.va.gov/healtheligibility/apps/enrollmentcal culator/.
The calculator will help give you a good indication as to whether you may be eligible for enrollment under the new rule.
The proposed changes to the eligibility standards provide VA additional funding to allow increased enrollment for certain Priority Group 8 veterans who may have been previously denied enrollment in VA’s health care system because their income exceeded VA’s means tests thresholds.
Whatever your enrollment determination, VA encourages all veterans to apply for enrollment because this will help identify to Congress the budget levels required to adequately fund veterans’ health care.
You can obtain the application for health care at the Web site www.va.gov/1010ez.htm - you will need your DD214.