In order to expand eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program, the VA has announced that it will determine eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program based on the distance between a Veteran’s place of residence and the nearest VA medical facility using driving distance rather than straight-line distance. This change has been published in the Federal Register and is effective immediately.
The change from straight-line to driving distance roughly doubles the number of eligible Veterans. Letters are being sent to the newly eligible Veterans to let them know they are now eligible for the Veterans Choice Program under this expansion. If a Veteran does not remember receiving a Veterans Choice Card, or has other questions about the Choice Program, they can call (866) 606-8198.
Please note that if your current address is listed as a P.O. Box number or general delivery, you must FIRST provide us with a physical address in order for VA to determine if you are among those eligible to use the Choice Card based on the “40 Mile rule.” If this is the case, these are the ways that you can submit home address information:
Call 877-222-VETS (8387)
Submit your information online at https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/homepage and select the “Apply for Health Care link under “Recommended Resources”
Download the Health Benefits Update Form and return it to: Health Eligibility Center, 2957 Clairmont Road, Atlanta GA 30329
Effective immediately, VA is also changing the mileage calculation for beneficiary travel. The change will ensure consistency in VA’s mileage calculations across the two programs. The beneficiary travel calculation will now be made using the fastest route instead of the shortest route. For more details about the department’s progress and related information, see www.va.gov/opa/choiceact/factsheets_and_details.asp