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All WWII Veterans are now eligible for VA health care

The Ironton Tribune - 1/9/2024

Jan. 9—The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that all World War II Veterans are now eligible for no-cost VA inpatient and outpatient health care.

Under this expansion, all WWII veterans who served between Dec. 7, 1941, and Dec. 31, 1946, are now eligible for VA health care, regardless of their length of service or financial status. These Veterans will not have to pay inpatient or outpatient copays, enrollment fees, or monthly premiums.

VA is reaching out by phone and mail to encourage WWII Veterans who are not currently enrolled in VA care to apply today. Veterans who enroll may also keep their private providers, Medicare, and most other insurance to meet their health care needs.

"These members of 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," said VA Undersecretary for Health, Dr. Shereef Elnahal. "We are proud to provide world-class, low- or no-cost health care to these heroes at VA, and we encourage all of them to enroll today."

All WWII veterans are encouraged to enroll in VA health care — the best, most-affordable health care in America for veterans. Veterans who are enrolled in VA health care are proven to have better health outcomes than non-enrolled veterans, and VA hospitals have dramatically outperformed non-VA hospitals in overall quality ratings and patient satisfaction ratings.

Veterans who were not approved for VA health care in the past due to income limits should apply again; income levels no longer apply due to this expansion. VA cannot automatically enroll these Veterans in health care; WWII veterans must apply for VA health care if they are not currently enrolled.

To apply for VA health care, visit VA's health care enrollment website, call 1-800-MyVA411 (800-698-2411), or visit your nearest VA medical center or clinic.

While World War II Veterans will no longer have to pay inpatient or outpatient copays, they may still have to pay modest medication or urgent care or long-term care copayments in some cases, depending on their eligibility and service connection.

This expansion is made possible through 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.

Update to the release: Nursing home care is free (no copays) for nearly all World War II Veterans who are eligible for nursing home services at VA, including 1) anyone in need of such care for a service-connected disability, (2) anyone in need of such care who also has a service-connected disability rated at 70 percent or more. However, contrary to the language of the release, not all World War II Veterans are eligible for nursing home care under this new law.

Additionally, as stated in the release, all World War II Veterans are eligible for VA health care and will not have to pay inpatient or outpatient copays. However, these Veterans may still have to pay modest copayments for medication or urgent care or long-term care in some cases, depending on their eligibility and service connection.

We at VA apologize for this mistake and any confusion that it may have caused. We are continuing to reach out directly to these Veterans to inform them of the expansion of care available to them, and we urge any WWII Veteran to enroll in VA health care today.

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