March 11, 2009
WASHINGTON -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has created an on-line tool to help Veterans without service-connected disabilities determine if they are eligible for enrollment into VA’s health care system.
The enrollment calculator, available at www.va.gov/healtheligibility, is a form where Veterans enter their household income information, number of dependents, and zip code in order to see if they qualify for VA health care currently or under an anticipated regulatory change that will allow VA to expand enrollment by raising current income thresholds by 10 percent.
The proposed regulation, announced January 8, is expected to take effect in June, though Veterans who apply for VA health care at any point in 2009 will have their applications reconsidered under the new law. Those who applied before 2009, but were rejected due to income, must reapply.
In 1996, Congress established a priority-based enrollment system for VA and a uniform package of medical benefits for all enrollees. Enrollment for the lowest priority of the eight groups—Veterans who are not being compensated for a military-related disability and who have incomes above a set threshold—was suspended on January 18, 2003, although Veterans in that priority group who were already enrolled for care were able to remain enrolled.
VA originally suspended enrollment for Priority 8 Veterans because it was unable to provide all enrolled Veterans with timely access to its health care due to a tremendous growth in the number of Veterans seeking enrollment. VA now plans to reopen enrollment for a portion of these Veterans without compromising the Department’s ability to provide quality health care services to all enrolled Veterans who are eligible for care.
Veterans who do not have access to the internet are encouraged to contact VA’s Health Benefits Service Center at 1-877-222 VETS (8387) for assistance with their eligibility or for health care questions.