Smucker's VA Billing Accountability Act Approved by Committee
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker’s (PA-16) legislation to relieve veterans of financial burdens caused by delays at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is one step closer to becoming law. Today, the House Committee on Veterans Affairs passed Rep. Smucker’s bipartisan VA Billing Accountability Act– legislation that sets forth specific and immediate billing requirements so our nation’s veterans are not receiving unbilled co-payments for VA care from years past.
“Our nation’s service men and women should not have to pay for delays or errors made by the VA,” said Rep. Smucker. “They and their families have sacrificed so much in defense of our great nation. We should be doing all we can to make their transition to civilian life as easy as possible, and this bill will help bring more stability and financial security to their post-military lives. I am thankful for Chairman Roe’s work on behalf of all our veterans and am glad the committee passed this important legislation.
“Ensuring accountability throughout the Department of Veterans Affairs is one way we can provide veterans with the care and benefits they have earned,” said Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe. “The VA Billing Accountability Act will bring accountability to VA’s billing practices by clearly defining the department’s billing responsibilities and protecting veterans from undue financial penalties, and I thank Rep. Smucker for his work on this important topic.”
TheVA Billing Accountability Act authorizes the VA to waive the requirement that a veteran make co-payments for medication, hospital care, nursing home care, and other medical services if:
- An error committed by the VA or a VA employee was the cause of delaying copayment notifications to the veteran; and
- The veteran received such notification more than 180 days (18 months in the case of a non-VA facility) after the date on which the veteran received care or services
Additionally, this legislation grants authorizing power to the VA Secretary to get rid of the requirement that veterans make a co-payment if the VA does not abide by the billing timing mandates.