RELEASE: MRC commends the VA for Copayment Exemption for the Indian Veterans Amendment Proposal
Mission Roll Call (MRC) commends the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) for Copayment Exemption for the Indian Veterans Amendment Proposal
Mission Roll Call is a nonpartisan movement providing a unified voice for veterans in underserved veteran populations, including tribal and rural populations, to ensure benefits and support.
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 18, 2023– On January 12th, the VA published the Copayment Exemption for Indian Veterans Amendment proposal – an important and promising step forward for tribal and rural populations. Once finalized, this rule would grant eligibility to American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans to no longer be required to pay copays for health care services.
"It is encouraging to see the VA make such an important move to improve the quality of life for native veterans,” said Cole Lyle, executive director of Mission Roll Call. “Removing the burdensome copayments can open doors to necessary medical care and support for our veterans.”
The proposed policy, following a Congressional mandate, will encourage veterans to seek medical treatment more routinely. The VA estimates that around three-quarters (74.3%) of American Indian/Alaska Natives who are service-connected utilize VA health care, with roughly 33% using mental health services. Out of the 567 federally recognized tribes, mental health is a significant issue of concern within these communities.
A 2016 VA tribal consultation found tribes identified treatment for Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and mental health as a top priority for Veterans in Native Country. The VA's initiative will bring positive health outcomes within indigenous communities.
"The prevalence of higher suicide rates among veterans and lack of transition support within our veteran communities is a major issue; working to expedite healthcare and ease the financial burden on those most at risk will help alleviate some of those risks," says Lyle.
Recognizing the needs of the veteran community, MRC's mission is to be a voice for veterans with the goal of ending veteran suicide and ensuring veterans gain access to the healthcare and benefits they deserve. To achieve its mission, MRC amplifies the stories of veterans to lawmakers in hopes their stories make a difference in policy change to improve healthcare outcomes for veterans.
For more information about MRC, including upcoming events, and to sign up to be a part of their community, visit their website at https://www.missionrollcall.org/ or @missionrollcall.
About Mission Roll Call:
Mission Roll Call (MRC) provides a unified voice for veterans that is heard by U.S. lawmakers and leaders. MRC is a movement that gives every veteran a voice on the issues that are most important to them. It is a community where veterans and their families share stories, voice concerns, and present solutions for their benefit. MRC is a program of America’s Warrior Partnership. Learn more at www.missionrollcall.org or @missionrollcall