Veterans covered under VA care meet requirements

By Eric Norwood Jr.

enorwood@pntonline.com

Veterans who already have Veteran Affairs health care are covered under the new American Care Act requirements.

Any veterans who are already enrolled in VA health care are also not required to take any additional steps to meet ACA coverage standards. Enrolled veterans can also continue to use VA and other federal health care coverage such as Medicaid, Medicare, TRI-CARE, and private insurance.

However, non-enrollment in medical insurance for veterans and non-veterans alike can prove costly. Penalties applied to an individual’s taxes will begin being issued in 2014.

The penalty will be $95 or 1 percent of taxable income, whichever is greater, and those penalties will rise significantly in the next two years. For those veterans who aren’t insured, there is still time to get enrolled in VA health care, and you can get it done in Clovis.

“What I would do If I was a veteran, is I would definitely apply for the VA health care, and they can come to my office to get it done,” said Matt Barela, the Veteran’s Service Officer in Clovis.

Veterans can also apply online by submitting the VA Form 1010EZ at www.1010ez.med.va.gov/sec/vha/1010ez/, or over the phone by dialing 1-877-222-VETS (8387) from Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Those veterans who apply and don’t qualify should apply again annually because the qualifications change every year.

Clovis veterans who are enrolled in VA health care can visit the Clovis VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic for many care services. Some of the services provided include health screening, routine or urgent care, health maintenance, management of acute and chronic diseases, and education. Amarillo features a larger facility, and Lubbock, Roswell and Hobbs have VA clinics as well.

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