If you need emergency care, the last thing you’re thinking about is letting the VA know. 

Under current law, if a veteran receives emergency care from a provider other than the VA, you have 72 hours after you are admitted to notify the VA.  If the veteran fails to meet this timeline, they are responsible for their entire medical bill.

That means veterans right now are being penalized to the tune of thousands of dollars just because they don’t navigate the bureaucracy fast enough. A veteran could be unconscious, in surgery, or otherwise recovering, but they are still supposed to remember to let the VA know.  In other cases, spouses of late veterans are hit with expensive medical bills when they are still processing the loss of their loved ones because they didn’t know about the VA’s policy. 

I’m introducing legislation to change that.

This week, I introduced the END Act, which would change the requirement to notify the VA of emergency treatment provided by a community care partner – or health care facility outside of the VA - from 72 hours after admittance to 72 hours after discharge.  This bill would provide them more time to notify the VA, allowing veterans and their families to focus on their health and recovery. 

It’s a step in the right direction when it comes to ensuring veterans receive the care they earned and protecting their families from surprise medical bills. 

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