VA Prescription Drug News

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced a $1 per month co-payment increase for outpatient medicines prescribed through VA medical facilities, beginning Jan. 1. The $1 increase for a 30-day supply of prescription drugs marks the first change in VA prescription-drug co-payments in four years. Noting that the VA is continuing to work diligently to contain drug costs for its beneficiaries, VA Secretary James Nicholson said that co-payments paid by veterans are still lower than in the private sector. The increase from $7 to $8 per 30-day supply will not affect veterans who have an injury or illness connected with their military service resulting in a 50-percent or greater disability. Others with less pronounced service-connected ailments will bear the $1 increase and their annual out-of-pocket expenses for VA medicine will remain capped at $920 per year. Those with no service-related injury or illness will be subject to the $1 increase but there is no cap for annual payments for outpatient medicines. Read more about the co-payment increase.

The VA also offers veterans a convenient, easy and secure alternative to refill their outpatient medicine prescription. Thanks to its new online prescription refill service through “MyHealtheNet” section of the VA Web site veterans can refill prescriptions from the comfort of their own homes. Since the online service began four months ago, more than 70,000 prescriptions have been successfully refilled. VA’s “MyHealtheVet” prescription refill service is proving to be extremely successful in providing America’s veterans with fast, easy and secure access to their important medications,” said Secretary Nicholson. When an eligible veteran places a refill order online, the request is routed to VA’s computer system to be filled by one of the department’s outpatient mail pharmacies. The refill is sent directly to the veteran’s home, eliminating the need for trips to the pharmacy. Read more about the VA’s online prescription drug service.

VA offers comprehensive medical care including any necessary medical outpatient and inpatient services such as preventive services, primary medical care, mental health and substance abuse treatment, home health care, respite and hospice care, emergency care in VA facilities and non-VA facilities for eligible veterans. You can apply for VA health care enrollment by completing VA Form 10-10EZ. This form may be obtained by visiting, calling or writing any VA health care facility or Veterans Benefits Office. You may also call toll-free 877-222-8387 or visit the VA Web site to obtain a copy of the form. Once a determination of eligibility has been made, veterans receive written notification, usually within 30-60 days.

January 2006

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