VA health care means test
As many veterans who are in the VA health care system know, an annual means test is required to keep the VA informed of the previous year’s household income, medical expense and asset information. The VA uses this information to determine what, if any, co-pays a veteran must pay. Beginning March 24, most veterans will no longer be required to complete the means test. Instead, the VA will receive income information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) and will contact veterans only if the information received indicates a change from the current financial assessment on file. If, at any time, a veteran’s financial status changes, they must submit an updated means test. This would be appropriate if a member of the household dies, loses their job, retires, etc.
This change will reduce veterans’ reporting burden and enable the VA to verify their eligibility for health care more quickly. It also reduces the VA’s cost to mail annual reminders to veterans and reduces the time medical facility staff spends collecting and processing means tests. The VA will be notifying veterans in writing about this change. The notification will also include information about how the VA will securely monitor future financial assessments, how the Health Eligibility Center, Atlanta, GA, will send veterans a letter when their self-reported income on file is different from the financial information obtained from the IRS and SSA and it will instruct veterans how to respond if they disagree with the information provided by the IRS and SSA. Consistent with the VA’s current income verification process, veterans will still have access to care during the period of review should they dispute what IRS or SSA says about their income.
It is estimated 2.1 million veterans will benefit from this change, hence saving a collective 415,730 hours of their time.
Our office is closed Friday, April 18 for Good Friday. Additionally, we will be closed from Monday, April 21 to Friday, April 25 for required semi-annual training. We will be back in the office on Monday, April 28. We regret any inconvenience this may cause.
Tammy Walters is available at 715-369-6127 or firstname.lastname@example.org.