Bills Would Expand Health Care for Adult Children of Veterans
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Two legislators introduced bills April 4 to expand health care coverage to children of disabled veterans.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Calif.) introduced S. 1034 and H.R. 2094, both versions of the CHAMPVA Children's Care Protection Act of 2019. This legislation would allow adult children to remain under the Civilian Health and Medical Program for the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) until age 26.
CHAMPVA is a fee-for-service program managed by the VA that provides reimbursement for medical care for a selected group of eligible dependents and survivors of veterans rated permanently and totally disabled by their military service. Unlike TRICARE and private insurance plans, children using CHAMPVA are no longer eligible for coverage when they turn 18 years old (or 23 years old for full-time students).
“I extend our deepest appreciation to Senator Brown and Representative Brownley for their leadership in sponsoring the CHAMPVA Children's Care Protection Act of 2019,” said MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret).
“MOAA members and veterans are deeply passionate about securing expanded health care for children of eligible veterans, family members, and survivors - including children of military members who have died in the line of duty,” Atkins said. “Thank you for being the voice of veterans on Capitol Hill and for not resting until these children receive the same health care coverage available to all Americans today.”
Expanding CHAMPVA for children of eligible veterans has been a top legislative priority for MOAA and The Military Coalition since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law in 2010. The ACA required children up until age 26 to be covered on their parent's health insurance.
To comply with the law, DoD rolled out its TRICARE Young Adult Program in 2011. However, similar coverage has yet to be extended to CHAMPVA.
“When men and women in uniform serve our country, their loved ones serve as well,” Brown said. “That's why it's especially important for the children of veterans who depend on CHAMPVA to stay on their parents' insurance while they go on to college or start their careers. They should be able to keep their health care, just as children whose parents have private insurance can today.”
Brownley called the move “a moral imperative,” adding: “One of the most popular and widely known benefits of the Affordable Care Act is allowing kids to stay on their parent's health insurance until age 26, and it is absolutely unacceptable that children of those who have sacrificed the most for our country do not have the same protections afforded to other families.”
Click here to send a letter to your lawmaker urging them to pass this important legislation.