VA Launches New Telephone Services for Healthcare and Choice Program

On March 16, the VA announced another change to its healthcare enrollment regulations that aims to streamline the enrollment process. Effective immediately, veterans with combat experience will be able to complete their enrollment applications by telephone instead of submitting signed paper copies. While this service is only available to combat vets right now, it will be broadened to include all veterans beginning July 5, 2016. There will now be three ways to enroll in VA healthcare—submit a paper application, enroll online, or apply by phone.
The VA is making a concerted effort to complete the enrollment applications for all combat veterans as part of its VeteransEnrollment Rework Project and hopes to complete its review of pending enrollment applications for all veterans by the end of this summer.
VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson stated, “This improvement to our Veterans’ experience is one we can implement now, and it’s the right thing to do for Veterans. Enrolling all 31,000 Combat Veterans with pending applications is the top priority in our effort to fix our enrollment system. Our analysis of our current application process convinced me we could enroll Veterans more quickly using this method, particularly Combat Veterans and those who are transitioning from active duty to Veteran status.”
For more information, please call the Health Eligibility Center Enrollment and Eligibility Division at 1-855-488-8440.
Additionally, the VA has recently set up a Community Care Call Center to help veterans in the Choice Program with billing problems. Call Center staff will work to resolve improper billing issues, aid community providers with delayed payments, and work with those providers to delete or reverse bad credit reporting on veterans due to delayed payments. The VA encourages veterans to continue to work with their primary care team to get the care they need in spite of these issues while they work to correct the problems and improve provider payment times. If you are experiencing any of these problems, please call 1-877-881-7618 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time.

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