Mission Act Expands Veterans’ Healthcare
Beginning June 6, 2019 under the Mission Act, Veterans will be eligible to see non-VA doctors if they must wait longer than 20 days or drive more than 30 minutes from their residence to see the nearest VA facility. Indeed, this is an improvement from a wait longer than 30 days and a longer drive. In fact, the new rules also expand the use of non-VA urgent care without requiring prior approval from the VA and depending on your health status, you may not have to pay at all. [There are specific rules with which you must familiarize yourself before launching your pursuit of healthcare through non-VA facilities.]
Furthermore, with this new expansion the VA Secretary does not expect a significant increase in use because they believe most Veterans will continue to seek VA facilities as they have a larger understanding of Veteran issues. However, many are concerned that the VA is not fully ready to begin their new policy as they are well known for their computer problems. In fact, many say that by outsourcing medical services it will destroy the agency. On the other hand, some are praising the VA for their commitment towards serving veterans.
Please keep in mind that you could only use these benefits if you are registered within the VA healthcare system. You are urged to register and to become familiar with the rules applicable to obtaining treatment from non-VA facilities.
Good news? As with all things VA, we will wait and see.