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Hospital Visitor Policy

Veterans Choice Card

In November 2014, the President and Congress, enacted the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, which led to the establishment of a new program to provide improved access to health care needs for our nation's Veterans. This is a new, temporary benefit allowing some Veterans to receive health care within their own communities rather than waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility.

A Veterans Choice Card has been issued to every Veteran enrolled for VA health care as of August 1, 2014 or eligible to enroll as a recently discharged combat Veteran within 5 years of separation. The Choice Card allows Veterans to elect to receive care outside the VA when they qualify for the new program based on their residence or when wait times for VA health care exceed the standards established in law.

The Choice Card does not provide guaranteed health care coverage or an unlimited medical benefit. Your eligibility must be verified and you must receive advance authorization from the VA.****

Veterans must meet the eligibility requirements for Choice Card benefits. To find out if you are eligible, please ask yourself these questions. If you answer yes to any, you may be eligible and need to call VA to verify.

1. Have you been told that you have to wait more than 30 days for an appointment from your preferred date or a date determined by your physician?
2. Is your current residence more than 40 miles for the closest VA health care facility?
3. Do you need to travel by plane or boat to VA health care closest to your residence?
4. Is there a geographic challenge, such as extensive distances around water, mountains or other geographic formations that presents a travel hardship?

When you call the VA at 866-606-8198, they will verify your eligibility by asking where you request to be seen; if you are interested in getting healthcare outside the VA then you will be transferred to an authorization department for approval and appointment time. This will take approximately 10 to 14 days. The VA will call you back with authorizations and appointment time.

Southeast Colorado Hospital District has begun the enrollment process to be able to provide care to Veterans. If you have questions please call Southeast Colorado Hospital District and speak with Aviana (719) 523-2103 or Dorothy (719) 523-2081.

***noted from Department of Veteran Affairs form # 2838

Please keep in mind that Veterans Choice does not replace your current insurance. If you have other insurance, we will bill it first and then Veterans Choice. If the only insurance you have is Veterans Medical Benefits or Veterans Choice the following apply:

1. Veterans Choice is only available for Clinic appointments: with authorization. Any additional services needed as a result of from Clinic appointments must be authorized and scheduled by Veterans Choice.

2. If you present to the Emergency Room - Rocky Mountain Region must be notified within 72 hours of date of service. It is necessary for the patient or family to get this authorization.

Para más información en Español sobre este mensaje, por favor llame a Marcia (Olivas) Elstob 719-523-2161