VA health care enrollment has been scrutinized lately due to news reports of improper and incomplete application processing, combat Vets being denied enrollment due to internal VA delays, and over 300,000 pending applications deemed incomplete for Veterans who have already passed away.
A whistleblower within the VA initially sparked public and Congressional outrage by revealing the VA had over 800,000 pending health care enrollment forms. The VA has now announced a series of changes to health care enrollment which includes extending the enrollment deadline another year for Veterans with incomplete health care applications and implementing a new enrollment option designed to alleviate the delays.
Once fully phased in Veterans will have three ways to submit an application for health care enrollment:
- By telephone: 1.855.488.8440
- Submitting a paper application (VA Form 10-10EZ) to
a. Nearest VA Medical Center or
b. Health Eligibility Center
Enrollment Eligibility Division
2957 Clairmont Road Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30329-1647
- Online: www.va.gov/healthbenefits/enroll
Current regulation allows Veterans to submit the VA health care enrollment form at a VA medical facility. However, the VA form instructs Veterans to submit the form to a VA office address; the regulation amendment will allow Veterans to follow the form instructions. A third option – enrollment by telephone – will also be phased in.
Phased effective dates for enrollment by phone
- March 16, 2016 – Veterans who served in a theatre of combat operations after November 11, 1998 and were discharged from active service on or after January 28, 2003.
- On or after July 5, 2016 – all other Veterans
The VA plans to telephone combat Veterans with pending health care enrollment applications beginning on March 15, 2016. Combat Veterans without a pending health care enrollment application can apply by calling the VA at 1.855.488.8440.
The VA Form 10-10EZ Application for Health Benefits can be found at www.va.gov/forms.
More information about VA health care priority groups can be found on VetsHQ.
Read the entire Federal Register notice for VA health care enrollment changes at https://federalregister.gov/a/2016-05680. Public comment is invited through May 16, 2016 in response to “RIN 2900-AP68 –Telephone enrollment in the VA healthcare system”.