North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System
Billing & Insurance
The Department of Veterans Affairs has established guidelines for veterans and their copayments. Copayments may be charged for the following services —
How do I pay my copayment?
If you don't pay before you leave, you will receive a bill at your address of record within 30 days after your stay or appointment. You mail your copayment to a centralized processing unit in Atlanta, Georgia.
What if I can’t pay copayment charges?
Working with a National Call Center employee, you may develop a repayment plan to pay a set amount each month towards your copayments. A waiver request based on special circumstances such as job loss may qualify you for a one time cancellation of debt.
Congress passed a law that says if a veteran owes more than $25.00 and the debt is over 120 days the VA must report this to the U.S. Treasury Department and the Debt Management Center. These offices are responsible for collecting copayment debts from federal income tax refund checks, federal retirement pay, social security, and disability payments.
Where does the money go from my copayments?
All copayments collected go right to your local health care system. It is a vital part of the entire operation. For example, the money is used to buy more equipment, set up new clinics
and hire staff to take care of your needs.
What if I have more questions?
If you have any questions about your copay balance, please contact our National Call Center toll free at 866-793-4591.
The Department of Veterans Affairs does not bill Medicare or Medicaid at this time. You may, however, wish to review the Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D).
Private Health Insurance
Private health insurance coverage through a Veteran or Veteran's spouse is insurance provided by employer, Veteran or other non-federal source.
VA health care is not considered a health insurance plan.
VA is required to bill private health insurance providers for medical care, supplies and prescriptions provided for treatment of Veterans' nonservice-connected conditions. Generally, VA cannot bill Medicare, but can bill Medicare supplemental health insurance for covered services.
All Veterans applying for VA medical care are required to provide information on their health insurance coverage, including coverage provided under policies of their spouses. Veterans are not responsible for paying any remaining balance of VA's insurance claim not paid or covered by their health insurance, and any payment received by VA may be used to offset "dollar for dollar" a Veteran's VA copay responsibility.
What's in it for me for providing health insurance information?
- You will not be responsible for any unpaid balance that the insurance carrier does not pay except for VA copay.
- Payments from your private health insurance carrier may allow us to offset part or all of your copay.
- Many private health insurance companies will apply VA health care charges toward the satisfaction of your annual deductible.
Insurance Coverage and Eligibility for VA Health Care
Your insurance coverage or lack of insurance coverage does not determine your eligibility for treatment at a VA health care facility.
Risks of Giving Up Your Private Insurance
What should you do with your private health insurance if you are accepted into VA health care? You could save of money if you dropped the insurance, but there are some things you should consider.
- What about your non-Veteran family members?
- What would happen if you are disenrolled from VA's health care program?
- Do I still need Medicare Parts A and B if I receive my health care from VA?
- What would happen if you drop your Medicare Part B coverage?
VA does not normally provide care for family members of Veterans enrolled in VA's health care program. If you drop your private health insurance, they may have no health care coverage.
There is no guarantee that in subsequent years Congress will appropriate sufficient funds for VA to provide care for all enrollment Priority Groups. This could happen if you are enrolled in one of the lower Priority Groups. This would leave you with no health care coverage.
VA does not require a Veteran to have Medicare Part A or B to be enrolled in VA health care. However, a Veteran may want to consider their total health care needs before changing any insurance coverage.
If you cancel your Medicare Part B Coverage, you need to know that you cannot be reinstated until January of the following year, and you may be penalized for reinstatement.
For these reasons, VA encourages you to keep your private health insurance.