Are you a Veteran wondering if you will receive a refund for copayments made for medical care and pharmacy services you’ve paid since April 6, 2020?
The American Rescue Plan (ARP), passed in March 2021, included a provision that canceled VA copayments for medical care and pharmacy services received between April 6, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021. Refunds will be sent to Veterans who paid copayments for health care and pharmacy services received during this period.
On May 12, VA began mailing letters to each Veteran with information on refunds, timing of when informational patient statements will resume, and when VA will begin normal collection of copayments.
“We want to make sure Veterans who made payments on their account are aware their refund is on its way,” said Susan Reed, executive director of Revenue Operations, VHA’s Office of Community Care. “This will provide clarity on what you can expect, and a few other reminders in terms of when you will begin to see monthly statements.”
Veterans will not be charged copayments for medical care and pharmacy services received between April 6, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021.
VA will resume normal billing and collections Oct. 1, 2021.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is my copayment balance being canceled? With the passage of the ARP in March 2021, all Veteran copayments for medical care and pharmacy services provided April 6, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2021, are canceled.
- I’ve been paying on my balance over the last few months. Will I get a refund? When will I receive that refund? Due to the passage of the ARP, Veterans who paid copayments for medical care and pharmacy services provided April 6, 2020, to the present will receive a refund from VA. Payments received after April 30, 2021, will be refunded on a case-by-case basis. Initial refunds will be paid by July 2021. In May, Veterans who are due a refund will receive a letter from VA with the amount of their initial refund. Refunds will be paid in electronic funds transfer or by check, depending on information in the Veteran’s profile.
- I think I’m due a refund. Should I call VA to confirm? We kindly ask that you not call to inquire about the quantity or timing of your refund at this time. VA staff are working hard to mail notification letters and to ensure refunds are paid. Initial refunds are expected to be paid by July 2021.
- Can I view an old patient statement online? Visit AccessVA at https://eauth.va.gov/accessva/ to view patient statements online.
- I had collection actions taken prior to when statements stopped in April 2020. Will those go away? All collection actions have been suspended since April 6, 2020, and will resume Oct. 1, 2021. You will be notified before collection actions resume.
- Can I make payments to the balance I incurred prior to April 6, 2020? Please wait until July 2021 to make payments on balances, so we can ensure copayment cancellations and refunds have been accurately processed. At that time, if you have a copayment balance for care received prior to April 6, 2020, you can voluntarily make payments.
- How do I voluntarily submit payment? Submit your payment by mail. Please include the payment coupon from your patient statement.
- Department of Veterans Affairs
P.O. Box 3978
Portland OR 97208-3978
- Visit pay.gov. You will need your patient account number.
- Call 888-827-4817. You will need your patient account number.
- To locate your account number, check your patient statement, call 866-400-1238, or visit https://eauth.va.gov/accessva/?cspSelectFor=vbs.
- I had a balance on my account prior to April 6, 2020. What if I can’t pay that balance due to financial matters? VA has expansive debt relief options available:
- Suspension of debt: You are not required to pay on your debt until October 2021.
- Monthly repayment plan: You can request an agreement to make smaller payments each month to pay your debt over time.
- Waiver, write-off, or compromise: If you cannot make monthly payments, you can request a waiver, write-off, or compromise.
- Financial hardship determination: If you are struggling because of life circumstances, you can request financial hardship assistance to manage VA debt or an exemption from future copayments.
Contact the VA Health Resource Center to discuss your options for medical copayment debt. Call 866-400-1238, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET., Monday through Friday, or visit https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/revenue_ops/Financial_Hardship.asp.
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