The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is now offering no-cost healthcare for all World War II veterans, regardless of their length of service or financial situation.
Under the program, veterans who served between between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946 who enroll in VA benefits are no longer required to pay monthly premiums, co-pays or enrollment fees, the VA said. They are also free to, if applicable, keep their private insurers to work in tandem with the new expanded VA benefits.
“Veterans who were not approved for VA healthcare in the past due to income limits should apply again; income levels no longer apply due to this expansion,” the VA said in a statement announcing the news.
Contrary to initial reports, however, the expansion does not extend to free nursing home care for all veterans — only to those who are eligible for nursing home services at the VA.
The Biden administration announced the extension last week as part of an effort to expand access to healthcare in several ways. This includes the launch of a pilot program that will place 100 physician residents in underserved and rural areas to extend healthcare to vets living in those regions.
Additionally, the administration reiterated a commitment to protect veterans from scams and fraud related to the relatively new VA law that expands benefits for those exposed to burn pits — the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act. According to a July 2023 AARP study, one in 10 veterans have been contacted by scammers claiming to help them secure a payoff.
A new task force will work to mitigate this fraudulent activity, which it says cost veterans, about 1.5 million of whom live below the federal poverty level, around $414 million in 2022.
How to apply
The VA said it will be reach out to veterans who are not currently enrolled for benefits and encourage them to apply.
Those not currently receiving benefits will not automatically be enrolled, the VA said. To apply, visit the VA’s healthcare enrollment website, call 1-800-MyVA411 (800-698-2411), or visit your nearest medical center.
Jamie Feldman is a journalist, essayist and content creator. After building a byline as a lifestyle editor for HuffPost, her articles and editorials have since appeared in Cosmopolitan, Betches, Nylon, Bustle, Parade, and Well+Good. Her journey out of credit card debt, which she chronicles on TikTok, has amassed a loyal social media following. Her story has been featured in Fortune, Business Insider and on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS News, and NPR. She is currently producing a podcast on the same topic and living in Brooklyn, New York.
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