VA rolls out new health care application to help remove barriers to access

VA has led the nation in both health care and health care research for more than 40 years. The department has remained on the cutting edge of medicine – from winning a Nobel Prize for diabetes research to developing life changing innovations such as the pacemaker and the nicotine patch, there is little doubt that VA has accomplished much to improve health care for the entire nation.

However, world-class health care is not much good to those who can’t access it and accessing VA health care has not always been easy. Actually, it’s been very frustrating for a large number of Veterans over the years, but enrollment is about to get easier for Veterans seeking eligibility.

“In order to improve access to care, we reviewed many of the steps Veterans must take to receive that care and found that improvements needed to be made in the initial application to improve the Veteran experience and remove barriers that hinder access,” said VA Deputy Secretary Sloan D. Gibson. “I am happy to announce that VA will soon be launching the new online health care application on vets.gov.”

Beginning June 30, 2016, Veterans applying for health care will be directed to health care application on vets.gov. Unlike the online 10-10EZ and previous applications, this form does not require special software to open, nor does it need to be printed by the Veteran or VA staff to be processed.

“Veterans could previously apply for health care online, but the user experience was often frustrating, and the process required VA employees to generate paper applications that were manually entered into our eligibility verification and enrollment processing systems,” Gibson said. “The application is a HTML form on vets.gov that requires nothing more than an internet connection and 15-45 minutes of your time depending on the complexity of the application. The application can also be submitted without a login. We believe it is important to make this process as easy as possible. A log-in option will be added later this year, allowing Veterans to save their application and to update their information, but it won’t be required to apply for health care.”

The new application is for Veterans who have not previously applied for VA health care. The 10-10EZ (paper form) will still be in the forms database, so Veterans and third parties serving Veterans can access the form to print it out. However, the expectation is that anyone seeking to apply for care eligibility online will use the online application, or call the number listed on vets.gov.

“Providing health care to our nation’s Veterans is one of the most vital services we provide at the Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Gibson. “Through the MyVA transformation, we are working to rebuild trust with Veterans and the American people, improve service delivery and set the course for long-term VA excellence and reform, all while continuing to deliver better access to high-quality care.”

The new health care application form is available here and, is a starting point for any Veteran interested in applying for health care eligibility.  For additional information, please visit the Health Benefits Application website.