Net Worth No Longer the Basis for VA Health Care

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The Department of Veterans Affairs will no longer consider net worth when a veteran enrolls for health care benefits, allowing more people to have access to health care.
     The department estimates that 190,000 veterans will become eligible for health care benefits over the next five years as a result of the change.
     The VA previously used a veteran’s net worth to determine his or her eligibility for health care programs and copays. This week, the department announced that it was eliminating that requirement.
     Last year the department eliminated the requirement for veterans to provide updated financial information every year, and now uses IRS and Social Security data to update veterans’ information.
     In a new change, the department will consider veterans’ gross household income and deductible expenses, but will not combine the sum of the veterans’ income with their assets.
     The updated requirement is part of the department’s MyVA initiative, which was launched in September as an effort to better serve veterans.
     The initiative seeks to improve veterans’ experience with the VA system, and improve employee experiences, as well as work on internal support systems within the VA.
     The department faced sharp criticism after reports surfaced last year of at least 40 veterans in Phoenix who died while waiting for VA services.

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