H. Rept. 117-223: Ensuring Veterans' Smooth Transition Act, Report Together with Dissenting Views to Accompany H.R. 4673, January 6, 2022 [open pdf - 459KB]
From the Background and Nedd for Legislation: "H.R. 4673 automatically enrolls eligible service members into VA [Veterans Affairs] healthcare during the transition process and gives service members an opt-out should they wish to not enroll. This is accomplished by the Department of Defense (DOD) providing information from the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) to VA for purposes of enrollment. Veterans are provided notice within 60 days of enrollment and given instructions for how they may opt out. Currently, veterans eligible for VA health care must proactively decide to enroll with VA using online, phone, or in person services. However, veterans often are unclear about their eligibility status, meaning that some attempt to enroll when they are not eligible, and many more fail to enroll due to a lack of understanding that they are eligible for care. For example, many of the 175,000 veterans who served in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation New Dawn (OND) are unaware of their eligibility for five years of VA health care upon separation. These veterans would no longer have to guess their status--they would simply be enrolled, made aware of their enrollment, and be given an option of opt-out of care should they wish. Providing care immediately upon separation is crucial for veterans, as the first few months after transitioning out of the military are a time of stress and place veterans at high risk for mental health challenges, including suicide. The Committee believes strongly that no veteran should have to struggle with navigating the VA bureaucracy to enroll in care."
H. Rept. 117-223; House Report 117-223
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