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    Veterans’ Emergency Room Bills Could Get Repaid by VA Thanks to Change

    Veterans' Emergency Room Bills Could Get Repaid by VA Thanks to Change

    Veterans who received care at non-VA emergency rooms since 2010 could now get some of their out-of-pocket costs reimbursed years later, even if their claims were previously denied.

    The VA is finalizing a rule, published Feb. 22 and taking effect April 24, that would cover those past costs and reimburse veterans going forward.

    The prior patients will have to file a new claim with the VA by Feb. 22, 2024, to get the money. The retroactive reimbursements apply only to VA patients who received emergency treatment for a non-service-connected condition and who also had health insurance through a third-party insurer.

    The VA will reimburse only coinsurance — defined as the patient's out-of-pocket, cost-sharing percentage with their third-party insurer — at non-VA emergency departments and won't reimburse flat-rate copayments or payments toward flat-rate deductibles. Emergency transportation such as an ambulance ride also counts as care.

    Veterans and Paying for Emergency Care

    Typically, the VA can pay for emergency medical care if the treated condition is service-related or caused by a condition tied to a veteran's service, and care isn't available at a VA facility, according to its website.

    For conditions not considered service-connected, VA can also pay for emergency medical care but only under certain conditions: Care must be provided in a hospital emergency department; care must be given to treat life or…

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