VA Extends Healthcare Coverage to All WWII Veterans, Breaking New Ground in Veteran Care

Staff report

December 4, 2023

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has taken a historic stride in honoring the service and sacrifices of World War II (WWII) Veterans by announcing an expansive healthcare initiative. Effective immediately, this initiative provides comprehensive inpatient and outpatient health care services at no cost to all WWII Veterans, regardless of their length of service or financial status.

The following was shared with the Bloomingtonian:

“Good afternoon, Community Partners,

I wanted to let everyone know that the VA has expanded Healthcare eligibility to include ALL WWII veterans.  I am looking to make contact with all of the WWII Veterans in Monroe County. Please share this widely, and if you know of any WWII Veterans, could you please pass their contact information along to me?

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced a groundbreaking initiative, extending no-cost inpatient and outpatient health care services to all World War II Veterans, effective immediately. This momentous expansion encompasses all Veterans who served between December 7, 1941, and December 31, 1946, irrespective of their length of service or financial standing, ensuring they receive comprehensive VA health care without incurring inpatient or outpatient copays, enrollment fees, or monthly premiums.

Dr. Shereef Elnahal, VA Under Secretary for Health, hailed the unwavering service of WWII Veterans, stating, “These members of the Greatest Generation answered the call to serve when our nation – and the world – needed them most. Now, it’s our job to serve them in every way that we can.” Under this initiative, VA is extending a hand to ensure these heroes are enrolled in the world-class, low- or no-cost health care services provided by VA.

Encouraging all eligible WWII Veterans to enroll in VA health care, VA aims to enhance health outcomes, as enrolled Veterans have consistently demonstrated better health outcomes than non-enrolled counterparts. The remarkable strides achieved by VA hospitals in overall quality and patient satisfaction ratings further underscore the efficacy and reliability of VA health care services.

In an endeavor to rectify previous eligibility limitations, the Joseph Maxwell Cleland and Robert Joseph Dole Memorial Veterans Benefits and Health Care Improvement Act of 2022 (Cleland-Dole Act), signed in December 2022, has eliminated income-based restrictions. This monumental shift ensures that income levels no longer serve as a barrier to access VA health care, empowering WWII Veterans to enroll unhindered.

While the expansion eliminates inpatient and outpatient copays for WWII Veterans, some may still encounter modest copayments for medication, urgent care, or long-term care based on eligibility and service connection. However, the core essence of this expansion lies in honoring the legacy and sacrifices of these remarkable Veterans by granting them unparalleled access to comprehensive health care support and services.

WWII Veterans not currently enrolled in VA health care are urged to apply via VA’s health care enrollment website, by calling 1-800-MyVA411 (800-698-2411), by visiting their nearest VA medical center or clinic or by reaching out to me in the Veteran Service Office. VA acknowledges recent discrepancies and regrets any confusion, ensuring ongoing direct outreach to these Veterans to apprise them of the expanded care available and urging all eligible WWII Veterans to seize this opportunity to enroll in VA health care today.

If you are interested in volunteering to drive for the DAV Van, need assistance filing a VA disability claim, or have questions about federal, state, or local veterans benefits, please contact my office. Steven Miller, Monroe County Veteran Service Officer.”

Veterans Service Officer/Director

Monroe County, Indiana

214 W 7th St, Suite 100

Bloomington IN 47404

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