March 7, 2016, 11:26:00 AM
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today it will extend the healthcare enrollment application period for one year to approximately 545,000 living Veterans that have pending incomplete enrollment applications.
“Fixing the Veterans enrollment system is a top priority for VA. This is an important step forward to regain Veterans’ trust and improve access to care as we continue the MyVA Transformation,” said VA Deputy Secretary Sloan D. Gibson. “We’ve got a lot of work left to do, but this is a big step in the right direction to restore the data integrity of our enrollment system,” Gibson said.
The National Enrollment Improvement team conducted a detailed analysis of the pending applications in VA’s enrollment system and identified approximately 545,000 living Veterans whose applications were incomplete and in a pending status. The team also validated that approximately 288,000 pending enrollment system records were for deceased Veterans. VA has segregated deceased records from living Veteran records and, as part of the Veteran Enrollment Rework Project (VERP), will review each incomplete application to determine if any should have been enrolled in VA health care.
VA is required by law to provide notice to Veterans of incomplete applications. The VERP team could not verify that VA’s mailing system used to contact Veterans about their incomplete applications was able to notify the 545,000 Veterans identified above.
VA will contact living Veterans to confirm their continued interest in enrolling in VA health care and ask them for the necessary information to complete their application. Veterans will have one year from the notice to provide this information. After a year, VA will close the record. A Veteran may reapply for enrollment at any time.
As Veterans choose to enroll, 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 VA’s services. In addition, 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.
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