We have received many calls from veterans regarding the Veterans Choice Card they recently received in the mail from the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System. Here are some quick facts about your Veterans Choice Card.
Before your Veterans Choice card can be used, you must first meet this test of eligibility by asking yourself these four simple questions:
Is your current residence more than 40 miles from the closest VA health-care facility? The Durango VA Clinic counts as your closest VA health-care facility, and the 40 miles is calculated geographically, not by road miles.
Have you been told by your local VA health-care facility that you will need to wait more than 30 days from your preferred date or the date medically determined by your physician for an appointment?
Do you need to travel by plane or boat to the VA medical facility closest to your home?
Does a geographic challenge, such as mountains, extensive distances around water or other geologic formations present a significant travel hardship?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be eligible to use your Choice Card. Verify your eligiblity by calling (866) 606-8198. Please be prepared to provide VA with information about any other health-care insurance coverage you have.
If you answered “no” to all of these questions, you are not eligible for benefits. You do not need to call VA. Not all veterans who receive the card will be able to participate in the Veterans Choice program.
IMPORTANT: If you do not receive pre-approval from VA to use your Choice Card, you will be responsible for some, or all, of the costs of the non-VA treatment you receive. The Choice Card is for pre-approved medical care only, and the Choice Card does not cover any prescriptions.
Richard Schleeter is the veterans service officer for the La Plata County Veterans Service Office. He can be reached at 759-0117 or schleeterrs@ co.laplata.co.us.