Washington, D.C. -- Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) today signed on as an original cosponsor of the VA Billing Accountability Act. Congressman John Kline (MN-02), who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, introduced this legislation.
Over the summer, nearly 1,500 veterans from around Minnesota and Wisconsin received notice from their local Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VA) regarding previously unbilled co-payments from care provided as far as five years ago.
This legislation sets forth specific – and immediate – billing requirements. These reforms state that a veteran who receives care from the VA must receive their bill within 120 days and those who get their care at a non-VA facility must be billed within 18 months. This bill also grants the Secretary of Veterans Affairs the authority to rid veterans of the requirement to make a co-payment if the VA does not follow the billing timing mandates. Additionally, the VA would now be required to notify veterans on the options available to them to get a waiver and create a payment plan before they can collect payment, if the bill is not sent in a timely manner.
“Men and women across our country dedicate their lives to protect our country each and every day and we have a duty to make their lives easier, not more difficult, once they return to the United States,” said Emmer. “Our nation’s veterans deserve quality care without struggling due to delays and/or errors made by an institution created for the sole purpose of assisting them. By clearly defining the timing requirements placed on the VA, this legislation would bring more security and reassurance to veterans. I applaud Congressman Kline for introducing this legislation, and am pleased to work with him and my colleagues towards its passage.”
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