President Signs Veterans Emergency Care Fairness Act
To help veterans with limited health insurance
On Feb. 2, President Obama signed the Veterans Emergency Care Fairness Act of 2009 into law. Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, introduced the bill to help veterans with limited health insurance afford emergency care.
“For veterans with limited insurance, a trip to the emergency room should not result in financial ruin. With this new law, VA will be positioned to help veterans who are enrolled in VA care whose insurance does not cover the full cost of emergency treatment.”
The new law will enable the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to reimburse veterans enrolled in VA health care for the remaining cost of emergency treatment if the veteran has outside insurance that only covers part of the cost. Previously, VA could reimburse veterans or pay outside hospitals directly only if a veteran had no outside health insurance.
In addition to reimbursing veterans for emergency care in the future, the bill allows the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide retroactive reimbursements for care received prior to the passage of this bill.