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Combat Veterans Get Telephonic Health Care Application Option

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it has amended its enrollment regulations to allow veterans to complete applications for enrollment in VA health care by telephone without the need for a signed paper application. The change is effective immediately for combat veterans and will be effective July 5, 2016, for all veterans. This phased implementation accelerates the VA’s effort to enroll all combat veterans with pending applications as part of its ongoing Veterans Enrollment Rework Project. The VA is working to complete the review and rework of all pending health enrollment records for living and deceased veterans this summer. “This improvement to our veterans’ experience is one we can implement now, and it’s the right thing to do for veterans,” said VA Deputy Secretary Sloan D. Gibson, “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,” Gibson said.

By adding this telephone application option to the VA’s regulations, the VA will now offer three ways to enroll. This change provides veterans an even more convenient way to apply for enrollment, in addition to the paper VA Form 10-10 EZ and online enrollment application process. With publication in the Federal Register today, combat veterans may now apply by phone. All other veterans may apply by phone starting on July 5, 2016. When veterans choose to enroll, the VA offers an enhancement to their enrollment experience through “Welcome to VA” (W2VA). Veterans enrolled since July 1, 2015, have received a personal introduction to VA health care services, programs, and resources to help them become more familiar with the VA’s services. In addition, the VA sends each new enrollee an introductory letter and personalized handbook in the mail. W2VA enhances communication by reaching out to newly enrolled veterans through personal phone calls upon enrollment, providing assistance with health care inquiries, and assisting with their initial appointment at their preferred VA healthcare facility. For more information, veterans can contact the Health Eligibility Center Enrollment and Eligibility Division toll free at (855) 488-8440.

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