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U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Ranking Member and Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee responsible for Department of Veterans Affairs funding, introduced legislation to repeal the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) copayment requirement for veterans traveling to medical appointments.
“Veterans in rural areas with limited access to specialty care and VA facilities are disproportionately impacted by this policy. We must correct this inequity,” Boozman said. “I appreciate the guidance of Arkansas veterans who have shared with me their concerns about this unnecessary cost to receiving the health care they earned. I urge the Senate to remove this penalty for veterans.”
“Veterans who live in rural areas shouldn’t be tasked with paying a travel deductible when heading to their medical appointments,” said Heinrich. “That’s why I’m proud to join Senator Boozman in this bipartisan effort to eliminate this financial hurdle and make it easier for all veterans to access the health care benefits and services that they have earned.
The Boozman-Heinrich bill eliminates the cost veterans pay when seeking VA-approved medical care.
Under the VA’s Travel Beneficiary Program, eligible veterans and caregivers are reimbursed for mileage and other travel expenses incurred while traveling to and from their homes to VA-approved health appointments. Deductibles are automatically withheld from the claim prior to disbursement. In Fiscal Year 2021 veterans paid the VA over $29 million to travel for approved health care.