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Veterans and the Health Care Reform Act

Many veterans have questions about the new health care reform law.

The veterans Health Administration (VHA) offers the following information about the law and its impact on veterans. This document addresses only the most pressing questions that have been raised. VHA will provide additional information about the new law as it is developed.

Nothing in the new law changes anything about VA health care

• The law contains many complex provisions, including many reforms to the practices of the health insurance industry.

• Nothing in the new law changes anything about the Veterans’ health care program.

• Enrolled Veterans may still rely on VHA for their health care in the same manner as before the law.

Beginning in 2014, everyone will be required to have health care coverage

• The law requires that every individual must have some form of health care coverage.

• The coverage must meet a minimum standard so that everyone will be able to have a minimum level of care.

• Congress wrote into the law a provision that says the Veterans’ health care program, administered by VHA, meets the standard for health care coverage.

Enrolled veterans do not have to purchase additional coverage

• Because the Veterans’ health care program meets the standard under the law, veterans enrolled in the VA health care program to not need to obtain additional health care coverage.

• Veterans may continue to purchase additional coverage if they wish, but the law does not require them to do so.

Flash news

The Albuquerque VA Medical Center is now requiring proof of your physical address before they will give you VA travel pay at the travel pay window and they won’t accept your driver’s license. It must be a utility bill showing your physical address, not your mailing address..

DAV vans

The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization is running a VAHC van from Durango on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Call Mike Dunaway, 247-2198, and from the Farmington area on Mondays and Wednesdays, call Harriet Mulnix, (505) 793-1782.

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is located at 1970 E. 3rd Ave. Durango, CO 81301 (the old Mercy Medical Center). Phone number is 247-2214.

Further information

For information on these and other veterans’ benefits, please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at the Senior Center in the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Blvd. The office number is 264-4013, the fax number is 264-4014, cell number is 946-6648, and e-mail is The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.