Skip to Content
Resize Text:      A A
Feb 12, 2018

Tester, Rounds, Baldwin, Tillis Urge VA to Honor Veterans’ Emergency Care Claims

Senators Urge VA to Reimburse Veterans For Their Emergency Treatment Claims Before Recent Court Decision

(U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) are calling on the VA to ensure that it is reimbursing veterans who were billed for emergency treatment at private hospitals.

In January, the VA announced that it would not retroactively reimburse veterans for their emergency treatment despite a court decision that ruled the VA is responsible for emergency medical costs at private, non-VA hospitals.

In response, the Senators wrote to VA Secretary David Shulkin urging him to reimburse veterans who filed a claim for emergency medical costs before the court ruling.

"Between 2010 and April 16, 2016, the VA erroneously denied thousands of veterans' claims for emergency treatment," the Senators wrote. "With the VA's recent interpretation of this ruling, veterans who filed claims before April 16, 2016 would see no relief from the VA's wrongful application of the law and would be stuck paying medical bills that Congress intended that the VA pay. We ask that the VA include those veterans whose claims were decided before April 16, 2016, so that all veterans can fully take advantage of a benefit Congress intended they receive."

The Expansion of Veteran Eligibility for Reimbursement Act, enacted in 2010, directed the VA to pay for veterans' emergency treatment at non-VA facilities unless the veteran has another form of insurance that entirely covers their medical costs. Since 2010, the VA has denied thousands of claims because a veteran's other insurance partially paid for their treatment, leaving veterans to cover the difference for costly emergency care.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims ruled on April 16, 2016, that the VA's interpretation of its responsibility for non-VA emergency treatment was wrong and ordered the VA to begin paying these claims. Despite that, the VA has chosen not to pay veterans who filed before the 2016 court ruling.

The VA released its new policy regarding payment or reimbursement for emergency treatment at private hospitals on January 9, 2018. The VA will only pay for new claims or those not decided prior to April 16, 2016.

Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) also signed the letter to Secretary Shulkin.

The Senators' letter to Secretary Shulkin can be read online HERE.

 

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Glendive, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.

Billings

Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768

Bozeman

Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647

Butte

Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Glendive

122 W Towne
Glendive, MT 59330
Phone: (406) 365-2391
Fax: (406) 365-8836

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586

Helena

Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462

Kalispell

8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974

Missoula

130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

Pursuant to Senate Policy, petitions, opinion polls and unsolicited mass electronic communications cannot be initiated by this office for the 60-day period immediately before the date of a primary or general election. Subscribers currently receiving electronic communications from this office who wish to unsubscribe may do so HERE.

Home   |   Meet Jon   |   Services   |   Newsroom   |   Legislation   |   Contact   |   Privacy