As a way to ease the financial stress on Veterans due to COVID-19, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) suspended billing statements for health care copayments on April 6, 2020. Interest and administrative fees for any co-pays that have also been waived during this period. The VA expects to resume mailing patient copayment statements in January, 2021.
“The pandemic has caused an increased financial burden for Veterans who rely on the VA for health care services,” said State Senator Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville). “Veterans need to know what their options are and that the VA is ready to provide assistance once billing statements resume in January.”
According to the VA, veterans who are seeking information regarding the suspension of the billing statements can find answers on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on their website at www.va.gov. Press releases and blog posting regarding the copayment statements are also available through MyHealthVet and VAntage Point.
The VA expects an increase in financial inquiries once the patient statements resume in January. The statements will include debt relief information to inform Veterans of the financial options available to assist them with their balances. The VA will offer affordable monthly payment plans and Veterans will be able to request waivers and billing reductions based on their current financial situation.
Even though billing statements to Veterans have been suspended since April, the VA has continued to bill third party insurance carriers. As these insurance payments are received, the applicable copayments are offset dollar for dollar for each specific date of service up to the amount of the copayment. This reduces and often eliminates the copayments for Veterans.
Veterans who wish to continue making copayments may do so online at www.pay.gov, in-person at their local VA Medical Center or by phone at (888) 827-4817.
Senator Ringhand added that she appreciates the effort of the VA to ease some of the financial burden on Veterans during this pandemic. “We all want to make sure that Veterans are fully informed and aren’t surprised when they get their bills next year.”