Familiarize Yourself With Latest VA Changes
August 31, 2018
USVCP Staff Writers
Many veterans are unaware of recent VA changes to policies, programs and procedures that have a major effect on their benefits. For instance, to expand eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program, VA will determine eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program based on the distance between a veteran’s place of residence and the nearest VA medical facility using driving distance rather than straight-line distance. This change has been published in the Federal Register for reference if needed. The change from straight-line to driving distance roughly doubles the number of eligible veterans eligible for the program. VA sent letters to the newly eligible veterans to let them know they are now eligible for the Veterans Choice Program under this new expansion policy. If a veteran does not remember receiving a Veterans Choice Card or has other questions about the Choice Program, they can call 866-606-8198.
Additionally, VA changed the mileage calculation for beneficiary travel. The change will ensure consistency in VA’s mileage calculations across the two programs.
For clarification of VA changes, veterans are advised to contact their Veterans Service Officer (VSO) or local VAMC.
Gerald Oliver, 11/12/18
I got a lot of double bills from Meriter hospital for sugery for cancer on choice.
Gerald A. Pigeon, 11/12/18
I never recieved a card the only thing they sent me a letter that i was on the program.
Andi Hillis, 11/12/18
The VA killed my husband and they need to held accountable.
Kevan Flanagan, 11/12/18
I have an original "temporary" Choice Card.. Previously it took longer to get all approvals from choice because of the extra layers.. A DVT took me 90 days.. Because it was expensive and I am a " high risk patient "..Now a different entity pays and that part is smoother. I recently had eye glasses through Choice and they never asked for the card.. Everything still goes through fee based or outside care.. Which was always already available as long as budget allowed.. In my case and in my opinion they leave me at a high risk.. beyond need.. Because any procedures with risk are extremely costly.. To the point that of what outside care would not do. ... BTW the "Date of Issuance" on my Choice Card is January 2015 ... Originally it did have a straight line rule...And please pardon .. But this POTUS DID NOT CREATE CHOICE...but did expand it .. And years ago fee based also commented to Me that eventually everything will go under Choice..
If I didn't have VA healthcare.. I would be bankrupt homeless.. I am not disparaging VA Healthcare.. It is broken.. It was not always that way. I firmly believe we should keep Veterans health a priority and an exceptional stand alone Health Service. It has been a ground breaking contributor to civilian healthcare.. Nothing and No One gets it done better than our Military..We all know that.
Richard Rivers, 9/17/18
The Choice Program was initiated not because of the distance a veteran had to a VA Medical Facility! It was started to eliminate the time period the Veteran had to wait to see a Doctor. Veterans were dying waiting to get an appointment for an Examination and/or Treatment. The VA could not handle the amount of Veterans who were in need. To see a Doctor one would wait sometimes up to a year. I don't know when this changed into a distance matter to qualify!
Marshall Maeder, 9/8/18
I did not get the letter but i did have a problem with the choice program . I called them about a problem they said i had to go the the V. A. BEFORE THEY COULD TALK TO ME . . NOW I DON'T CALL THEM BECAUSE YOU CAN'T GET a answer from them.
Gerald Smith, 9/1/18
I did not get the letter but I do go to the eye specialist on the choice program. Does that mean that I am eligible for other drs? Is there going to be an ins. card that would allow the veteran to go to the private dr. without having to get prior approval?
Harold Gross, 8/31/18
Does the Veteran have anything to say about these changes? Or just " SCREW THE VETERAN, like it or lump it!"