The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is very particular about paying for VA-relegated services for veterans away from VA hospitals. The VA’s Fee Program, which also goes by “Fee Basis” or “Non-VA Care,” however, may grant veterans the ability to accept treatment at non-VA medical facilities when:
- The necessary services are not provided by the VA Medical Center; or
- When the veteran in need cannot travel to the VA Health Care facility for treatment due to illness or catastrophic disability.
As long as the service the veteran requires is tied into his or her service-related disability, fee-based services will cover almost anything. Non-VA care, however, must be authorized by the VA Medical Center prior to performance. Further, veterans must be enrolled in the VA health system in order to be eligible for fee-based care. It is also possible for veterans to get treatments not covered through private health-care providers at their personal expense.
Federal law governs when veterans can receive Non-VA Care and substantially restricts the circumstances. Outside of emergency treatment, pre-authorization is required. Using fee-basis care is not for permanent treatment, and if extended treatment is required, it will most likely be performed at a VA clinic or hospital.
The fee basis program is something fairly new to the VA. It does provide a very essential service for those veterans put into a situation where obtaining VA care just is not a possibility. The VA’s goal is to take care of veterans and this is taking care of veterans – when the VA cannot do it, they will pay those who can. Ultimately, the veteran is the most important piece of the puzzle.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.