The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) cannot, by law, collect “third-party reimbursements” from Medicare for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) performed services for medical conditions not service-related. This is the case even if Medicare customarily covers the treatment. The result is veterans who are enrolled for Medicare benefits but wanting to be treated at a VA medical facility not being able to do so.
Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif) introduced the Medicare VA Reimbursement Act of 2011 (H.R. 814), which, if passed, would allow Medicare benefits to be used at VA medical facilities. Veterans pay into Medicare, and they should be able to use their benefits wherever they want to be treated even if that treatment is for a non-service related condition and is provided at a VA medical center.
Passing this legislation would allow the VHA to use Medicare reimbursements to subsidize VA research and education as well as finance VA buildings. Collecting such reimbursements would provide the VHA with a steady income. These are all things that benefit society outside of the veteran community.
The VHA provides numerous services across the nation, many of which benefit the civilian world, especially in the medical community. The Medicare VA Reimbursement Act of 2011 is currently in front of the House Veterans Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Health for consideration.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact LaVan & Neidenberg. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.