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Biden Administration Expands Health Care Coverage for Veterans

Veteran receiving medical care | Shutterstock

Officials from the Biden administration said on Friday, in advance of Veterans Day, that the Department of Veterans Affairs will increase access to healthcare for certain veteran populations and their families by launching new initiatives.

Earlier than expected, the VA will begin to cover some ailments tied to hazardous burn pits. Veterans’ families who served at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987 may be eligible to receive reimbursement for Parkinson’s disease treatment expenses. Additionally, the government announced in a number of news releases that all World War II veterans would be qualified for free medical treatment, even in assisted living facilities.

According to the department, the administration will also establish a new graduate medical education program to aid in increasing veterans’ access to healthcare in disadvantaged areas, such as rural and tribal areas. Additionally, the VA plans to invest $5 million in an advertising campaign to encourage more veterans to register for services.

Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary Tanya Bradsher told reporters on a Thursday call in advance of the announcements, “As we approach Veterans Day, we’re reminded of the fundamental promise that our country makes to anyone who signs up to serve in the military: If you fight for us, we’ll fight for you.”

Five modifications aimed at increasing veteran benefits were announced by the government.

The VA will expedite burn pit exposure coverage, which was a component of a last-year bipartisan bill.

The statute was intended to be phased in over a maximum of ten years and offers health care benefits to veterans who were exposed to harmful chemicals from burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as to certain other veterans.

However, a White House fact sheet states that President Joe Biden is ordering the VA to allow all impacted veterans to receive increased benefits by the beginning of next year.

An extension to the Camp Lejeune Family Member Program will address Parkinson’s illness. Parkinson’s was not previously included in the program, which covers a wide range of disorders associated with the tainted drinking water at the base.

According to the government, World War II veterans who served at any point between December 7, 1941, and the end of 1946 are eligible for free VA health care, which entails no monthly fees or co-pays. This covers nursing home care as well.

The government is also developing a pilot program to pay residents and residency programs that serve veteran patients outside of VA institutions in order to increase availability. A VA news release said that 100 doctors in underprivileged, rural, and tribal regions will receive funding from the initiative.

Additionally, in an effort to motivate veterans to utilize their benefits, the agency intends to launch a nationwide marketing campaign that will highlight “some of the most tangible, cost-saving benefits” to which they are eligible, per the VA.

According to the VA, the multi-media campaign will highlight free or extremely inexpensive health care, education, house loans, and memorial service programs.

Current VA health care benefits

The medical benefits package for every veteran is different. Yours will consist of assistance and care.

  • Attend to wounds and ailments
  • Prevent more health issues
  • Boost your capacity for functioning
  • Boost your standard of living

The majority of care and services are covered for all veterans, but only some are eligible for additional benefits like dental treatment. Your whole list of advantages is contingent upon:

  • Your focus group, as well as
  • The guidance of your VA primary care provider, who might be a physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or primary care physician, and
  • The medical guidelines for attending to any ailments you could have

Preventive care services include the following:

  • Examinations related to health (including examinations unique to gender)
  • Education on health, especially diet
  • Vaccination (such as flu vaccinations) against infectious illnesses
  • Advice on hereditary illnesses (diseases that run-in families)

It provides hospital inpatient services, such as:

  • Procedures
  • Medical interventions
  • Dialysis for kidneys
  • Acute care refers to the initial phase of care following surgery or a serious sickness or accident.
  • Specialized care (such as care for catastrophic injuries, intensive care for mental and physical problems, and organ transplants)

If your VA primary care practitioner determines that you require ancillary services to complement your therapy, we could pay for them. Examples of these services include:

  • Diagnostic tests such as X-rays, ultrasounds, and blood testing are used to identify medical disorders
  • Physical therapy, visual rehab, and treatment for traumatic brain injury are among the therapy and rehabilitation services offered.
  • Extra services, such as radiation oncology (cancer care), audiology (treatment for hearing loss), and prosthetic goods

Make contact with the patient advocate at the VA hospital where you receive treatment. To assist you or your family members in understanding your medical or health care benefits, your patient advocate can help you get services in American Sign Language or in a foreign language.

Visit the website of the VA health care system that your VA medical institution is a part of to learn how to get in touch with the patient advocate there. Click “Patients & Visitors” in the page navigation to bring up a submenu. After choosing “Patient Information,” select “Customer Service.”

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