With the deadline for having to choose a health care plan looming, veterans can breathe a bit easier with new eligibility options for a comprehensive health care package.
Unknown to many, back in 2009 federal regulations were changed to enable the VA to enroll certain Priority Group 8 veterans who were likely denied enrollment in the VA health care system because their income exceeded the VA’s income thresholds.
According to the VA, “These veterans may now qualify if their household income does not exceed the current VA income thresholds by more than 10 percent.”
On another positive note, the care is said to be “completely portable across the entire VA health care system;” which is something private health insurance has yet to accomplish.
If you have any enrollment or eligibility questions, you may call 1-877-222-VETS (8387).
To apply for VA health care benefits, including enrollment you must fill out an application for enrollment, VA Form 10-10EZ. You may obtain this form by one of the following means:
• Online – Complete VA Form 10-10EZ, Application for Health Benefits.
• By telephone – Call toll-free number at 877-222-VETS (8387)
• In person – Complete the “Application for Health Benefits” at your local VA. Find a VA medical center.
Once you are enrolled you will remain enrolled without having to reapply for benefits annually. You will however, will need to update your financial information yearly to keep your enrollment priority current.
Bottom line: if you are a veteran and have not explored the benefits of VA, now is the time to do so.
– By Michael Schindler
Michael Schindler, Navy veteran, and president of Edmonds-based Operation Military Family, is a guest writer for several national publications, author of the book “Operation Military Family” and “The Military Wire” blog. He is also a popular keynote and workshop speaker who reaches thousands of service members and their families every year through workshops and seminars that include “How to Battle-Ready Your Relationship” or “What Your Mother-in-Law Didn’t Tell You.” He received the 2010 Outstanding Patriotic Service Award from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.