On August 7, 2014 the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability (VACA) Act of 2014 became law. This act requires that non-VA health care be furnished to veterans who have been unable to schedule a timely appointment with local VA facilities, reside more than 40 miles from a VA facility, or face an excessive burden in traveling to their local VA facility.
Since the bill became law, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been at work developing programs and procedures to enforce the new requirements for health services. One such provision is Veterans Choice Cards which will act as an identification card to non-VA health care providers to distinguish veterans eligible for pre-arranged care allowances at that facility.
In order to properly execute the Choice Card program and ensure no new delays are created with the VACA Act, the VA is holding an Industry Day to speak with industry leaders. The goal of the September 17 meeting in Denver is to seek a cost-effective and efficient method of implementing the VACA Act.
The VA has already begun implementing the VACA Act by developing a program management office and extending the Project ARCH pilot program to more health care providers in rural areas. As more provisions become available under the VACA Act, disabled veterans should contact their local VA office to determine if they are eligible for non-VA health care under the programs.
Many veterans in rural areas are unable to seek the care they require for disabling conditions developed during or because of active military duty. Even veterans who live near VA health care facilities are often unable to receive care due to long wait times for appointments and scheduling mistakes.
If you are a veteran with service-connected health conditions, contact our veterans’ disability rights firm today to inquire about your eligibility for veterans’ disability benefits – 1-855-855-8992.