Removing Net Worth Requirement From Health Care Enrollment


Topic:

AP37 – Proposed Rule – Removing Net Worth Requirement From Health Care Enrollment  (LINK and LINK)

Docket ID: VA-2015-VHA-0024

Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

We know that not every person who has served in the military is actually eligible for health care based on income and assets–in addition to their non-service connected health status and/or rating.  One reform in the works is the elimination of the net worth assets rule that has been used to deny care.  (Annual “Means” income reporting, formerly done on paper, is now being done by computer matching with the IRS and Social Security. LINK

The asset part of this process is/was particularly cruel.  Veterans had to list the value their homes, cars, land, retirement accounts etc…What the heck should ownership of a motorcycle have to do with veterans’ rights to access healthcare, we collectively fumed?  As one frustrated commenter on the whole asset-based concept lashed out on Regulations.gov:

I think this is bullsh*t! No one was worried about the net worth of these individuals when they volunteered to enlist in the service. Just because they served their time/retired & went on to a Higher paying career, does not mean they don’t deserve equal benefits. All veterans served their time, spent countless number of Months (even years) away from family, the same thing was expected from all of them. What they did or how they handled things when they got home, should have nothing to do with the benefits the deserve!

The VA admitted that “the burden on veterans to supply asset information to VA on an annual basis was considerable” and that about 135,000 ineligible veterans will be able to enroll based on the change.

Priority rates determine co-pays for medications, in-patient and out-patient care and extended care.  See the 2016 Co-pay Fact sheet here:  (LINK)  Medication co-pays are listed here (LINK).  This meds flyer lists co-pay exemptions and important billing information if you have private insurance as well (LINK).  The income threshold limits for free care, even geographically adjusted by region, are ungenerous (LINK or LINK). Because only a small percentage of veterans actually get rated with a service-connected condition (13-15% if I recall correctly), it’s important to eliminate all income and asset tests because they are unrealistic and discriminatory.  Facing dangers in-service, distinctions based on money or possessions are irrelevant–and so it should be post-service.  VA healthcare was never meant to be a charity and operating it as such has led to widespread abuses.  Enough already. 

Because veterans are more likely to need long term VA care, and some of the new extended care facilities look very nice, we’ll have to take a look at how the VA looks at a veterans assets, his/her estate, and how survivors are protected–if they  are–another time.

This entry was posted in All about Veterans, Guest authors, Uncategorized, VA Health Care, vA news and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Removing Net Worth Requirement From Health Care Enrollment

  1. john king says:

    To get back on topic I am for treating all veterans who have less than dishonorable discharge at the VA for free. No copays, income requirements, billing private insurance or any of that crap as long as service connected vets are put at the head of the line. The greater the SC disability rating the faster and more inclusive the care should be especially for those unable to earn a living due to SC disabilities and for those with very major SC injuries. No expense should be spared to make the lives of these vets better. Just replacing income is not enough. Would anyone give up an eye, arm , hand , leg or mobility for a few hundred or thousands of dollars? No, of course not. Just ask draft dodging members of congress if they would give their eyes for a couple of thousand dollars a month. 98% of them are draft dodgers if they are in their mid to late 60’s or early 70’s. The ones who have served brag about it, but I don’t remember anyone bragging after Vietnam that they were grunt in Vietnam.
    They were dismissed as misfits and social outcasts, but it is all fine now. We are just treated like average sodomites now. Thank you Uncle Sam. This is just the opinion of J. T. King and not of our host AskNod let me make that plain. In mentioning sodomites I mean we vets are being sodomized by the VA and our own government to the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy. Ok, medication time.

  2. john king says:

    I also am angry about A&A levels for the spouses of even 100% service-connected veterans. If my spouse ends up in a nursing home before I do then how do I pay for it? A&A for spouse is so absurdly low as well as DIC which is a joke. My wife could get grand sum of $1400 a month when I die and after she applies for DIC and gets it. She would get much less than half the amount I receive as a living, but totally and permanently disabled Vietnam vet. With full SSA survivor benefits along with DIC she will be living high on the hog I am sure. She Where I live that amount would not sustain her on a monthly basis. I am for treating all veterans regardless of their income most especially combat zone vets from the Vietnam Era who are ignored in caregiver stipends. I am 66 years old. In a few years I may need to have snot wiped from my nose. My wife will do that for free. She gets no caregiver salary. Only a few vets after 1998 get that care. Are we Vietnam Era vets dog shit? Yes, in the eyes of the VA. They cannot wait for us to die. I am surprised they do not pay veterans a bonus to go to dog pound and be put to sleep like the poor mutts we are.
    I have five AO caused conditions. I get about $400 a month extra via SMC for all those conditions that will eventually kill me. I better save that money so my wife won’t have to eat dog food when I die. Maybe she can have grass cut and house painted since I already paid for my burial. I am very angry at our cheap ass government that craps on our heads and wants us to be grateful.
    The miserable VA charges my private insurance any chance they get and I have been P&T for 15 years. The best years of my working life lost due to SC injuries and illness and they have the balls to bill my insurance every chance they get. The solution to problems with VA should involve many large wrecking balls, backhoes, and demolition crews. ” Never have so many done so little for so much” is the VA’s true motto. If you want to know how I really feel just ask for my email. I also remember jet guns and guys leaving the line after being injected with blood soaking their tee shirts.

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