Many of you might have seen recent news reports with a headline that read something to the like “VA out of money for private healthcare”. Here is a link to one such news story from the AP. I want to take a minute to explain what they are talking about so that there isn’t any confusion.
I want to reassure our members, Veterans and their families that this funding shortfall does not in any way impact what we do through the Veterans Improved Pension at any level. This funding is specifically about the Veterans Choice program.
On September 26, 2017 the Trump administration released a statement that the Veterans Choice program may need additional funding by December to be able to continue to provide private-sector healthcare to Veterans enrolled in the program.
The Veterans Choice program is a program that began in April 2014 and is designed to provide Veterans with an alternative to the traditionally long wait times for service through the VA. Under the Veterans Choice program a Veteran may request care in the private-sector if the Veteran is unable to be seen at a VA facility within 30 days of the request by the Veteran or the Veteran lives more than 40 miles from a VA facility. There are other criteria as well that would allow a Veteran to use the Veterans Choice program.
Again, the funding shortfall does not impact the Improved Pension program but it may impact the Veterans you serve.