A bill recently introduced in Congress will offer relief to veterans who’ve had to pay for emergency health services.
Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Republican Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas both introduced the bill on Thursday.
It would eliminate a rule that prevents veterans from being reimbursed for emergency care if they haven’t been seen in a VA center for 24 months.
It comes after another bill Wednesday that makes it easier for veterans delayed in getting initial visits to receive VA-paid treatment from local doctors instead.
"This bill eliminates red tape that prevents veterans from being reimbursed for emergency care," said Sen. Mazie Hirono in a statement. “Veterans needing care shouldn’t be penalized because they live in rural communities or face outrageous wait times for appointments at VA medical facilities.”
The bill, called the Veterans Emergency Health Safety Net Expansion Act, would impact an estimated 144,000 veterans. It also would prevent insurance companies from denying or limiting reimbursements based on the fact that the VA is not an in-network provider.
"Veterans should not be forced to bear the burden of emergency health care costs because of the dysfunctional, bureaucratic VA system," Moran said in a statement.