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Veterans Choice Cards To Arrive In KS Soon

Flickr Creative Commons/LensDog64

The VA has begun mailing cards to veterans who may need medical care outside the VA health care system. Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson explains.

The cards are called Veterans Choice Cards. They’re intended for veterans who live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA health care facility—or who have faced excessive wait times for appointments.

With the card, veterans can get care from any medical provider who accepts Medicare, any federally-qualified health center, the Indian Health Service, or the Defense Department.

The providers will negotiate a payment rate no higher than what Medicare would pay, and will only be allowed to charge a co-payment to the veteran if a co-pay would be required for the same service at a VA facility.

Veterans will need to call a toll-free number to get pre-authorization for care outside the VA. Two private-sector companies will handle appointments, scheduling, medical records, and payment.