Filner Bill Allows Elderly Veterans to Use Their Earned Medicare Dollars for VA Health Care

April 6, 2011

Washington, D.C. - Ranking Democratic Member Bob Filner (D-CA) reintroduced H.R. 814, legislation to allow veterans to use their earned Medicare benefits to receive health care and services from the Veterans Health Administration at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

"There are veterans who have earned VA health care benefits with their service to our country," stated Bob Filner.  "They have also earned Medicare benefits by contributing to the Medicare program during their working years.  Because VA cannot bill Medicare, elderly veterans are unable to use their Medicare benefits, even if they may prefer to receive care at a VA facility among their fellow veterans.  So for those veterans, they basically forgo the hard-earned dollars that they contributed towards Medicare benefits during their working years.  This bill is important legislation that would allow elderly veterans to access both VA health care and their Medicare benefits."

Under current law, VA has the authority to bill enrolled veterans and their private health care insurers for the treatment of veterans' non-service-connected conditions.  Current law, however, prohibits the billing of Medicare, barring elderly veterans from using their earned Medicare benefits at VA health care faciliies.  H.R. 814, the Medicare Reimbursement Act of 2011, would require VA to develop a program that would allow VA to bill Medicare for services rendered to veterans enrolled in Medicare Part A or B.