Representatives Lee Zeldin (R, NY-01), Lauren Underwood (D, IL-14), Julia Brownley (D, CA-26), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R, PA-01) introduced bipartisan legislation to eliminate cost barriers to COVID-19 vaccinations for veterans. The No Coronavirus Copays for Veterans Act ensures that veterans who receive health care from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) are not liable for out-of-pocket costs for qualifying coronavirus preventive services, like COVID-19 vaccines. Companion legislation, led in the Senate by Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), will be introduced in the coming weeks.
In March 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which waived copays for qualifying items, services, or immunizations intended to prevent or mitigate coronavirus for Medicare beneficiaries and privately insured individuals. However, the CARES Act did not extend these protections to veterans receiving VHA care. The No Coronavirus Copays for Veterans Act extends these protections to those receiving VHA care and ensures they are equally protected.
“Our nation’s brave servicemembers have earned nothing but the highest quality care, and as we all work to finish the fight against coronavirus, ensuring they receive the treatment they need to battle this novel outbreak is critical,” said Congressman Zeldin. “I’m proud to work alongside my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure our veterans are not left behind during these ever-changing times and that they receive the benefits they have earned.”
“Veterans sacrificed so much to protect our country, and we must honor their service by always making sure they have the care they’ve earned and deserve. As our nation continues to face the coronavirus pandemic, it’s critical that veterans never be assessed an out-of-pocket expense for a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Congresswoman Underwood. “I’m introducing the bipartisan No Coronavirus Copays for Veterans Act to ensure that veterans can protect themselves against COVID-19 without facing any financial barriers.”
“As we continue to fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that our veterans are able access the vaccine necessary to protect themselves and their families. This important legislation would close an unintended loophole in the CARES Act and ensure that veterans will not face additional financial barriers to care,” said Congresswoman Brownley.
“Our heroic veterans have sacrificed so much to serve and keep our country safe,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “No veteran should have to pay out of pocket for COVID-19 preventive services when using V.A. benefits. I am proud to join my bipartisan colleagues in reintroducing this legislation to support our veterans.”