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World War II vets now eligible for free health care

The entrance to the Edward P. Boland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Leeds. (Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican/TNS)
November 14, 2023

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced Friday that all World War II veterans are now eligible for health care, medical services, and nursing home care at no cost.

A VA press release stated, “All WWII Veterans who served between Dec. 7, 1941, and Dec. 31, 1946, are eligible under this expansion, regardless of their length of service or financial status. These Veterans will not have to pay copays, enrollment fees or monthly premiums.”

According to research provided last Thursday by the Pew Research Center, the number of living World War II veterans in the United States is now under 120,000, comprising less than 1% of living veterans. reported that the 2022 Cleland-Dole Act requires the VA to provide care at no cost to this group of veterans.

“These members of the Greatest Generation answered the call to serve when our nation-and the world-needed them most,” VA Under Secretary for Health, Dr. Shereef Elnahal, stated in Friday’s press release. “Now, it’s our job to serve them in every way that we can. We are proud to provide world-class, no-cost health care to these heroes at VA, and we encourage all of them to enroll today.”

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The VA press release noted that the department is planning to contact World War II veterans “by phone and mail” in order to encourage individuals who have not yet enrolled in the VA to apply for enrollment. The agency explained that World War II veterans will also be able to keep Medicare, private insurance providers, and most other forms of insurance when they enroll in the VA.

“All WWII Veterans are encouraged to enroll in VA health care – the best, most-affordable health care in America for Veterans,” the VA stated.

The VA claimed that veterans enrolled in the department’s health care system have been proven to experience “better health outcomes” than veterans who do not enroll with the VA. Additionally, the department claimed that VA hospitals have “dramatically outperformed” other hospitals with regard to patient satisfaction ratings and quality ratings.