VA to begin paying up to 800,000 non-VA emergency claims

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The Department of Veterans Affairs published a revised rule Tuesday that allows payment of hundreds of thousands of pending claims for private-sector emergency care that veterans’ other health insurance covered in part but not in full.

Some pending claims for non-VA emergency care were filed as far as back as 2010 and were kept alive by appeal. In some cases, individual reimbursements owed will total tens of thousands of dollars, for example for emergency heart surgery or other complex procedures not covered well by alternative health plans.

The revised rule says it won’t allow retroactive reimbursements for non-VA emergency care claim decisions that became final before April 8, 2016, the day VA lost a landmark federal court fight with Air Force veteran Richard W. Staab.

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