The Department of Veterans Affairs will soon waive all medical copayments for Native American and Alaskan Native Veterans. The waiver of these copayments comes as VA implements a Congressional mandate to drop medical copays for qualifying Veterans.
VA published an interim rule on January 12, 2023 announcing their intention in the Federal Register. In the 30 days following the publishing of the interim rule, the topic will be open for public comment prior to the rule being made permanent after said public comment has been provided and reviewed. The new rule will drop medical copays for Veterans with “known tribal affiliations.” The law will also be backdated to January 5, 2022, but at this time it is unknown as to when or how Veterans may go about applying for reimbursement for any copays they paid for the period of January 5, 2022 to January 12, 2023.
The VA estimates that there are 150,000 Native American and Alaska Native Veterans in the U.S. These Veterans are also eligible for non-copayment treatment via the Indian Health Service, but this particular service is typically slow and underfunded. The aim of the new rule regarding Native American Veterans and VA is to provide the same fee waiver at the VA as they would get at the IHS. Eligible Veterans also will have access to urgent care, but like other Veterans in the VA health system, they will be required to make copayments for urgent care after three visits within a calendar year. These are the only copayments likely required under the new policy.
If you have any questions about VA benefits, the qualified Veterans’ Disability attorneys at Gardberg and Kemmerly want to help in any way possible. Gardberg and Kemmerly is committed to helping injured and disabled Veterans obtain the benefits they deserve. If you need help with a disability claim, call our office at 251-343-1111 or 1-800-332-1529 for a free consultation. Gardberg and Kemmerly is proud to serve Veterans across the country from our home office in Mobile, Alabama. We would love an opportunity to discuss your claim.