The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced they are rolling out some new programs which will provide all World War II veterans with free health care, medical services and nursing home care from the VA.
There are approximately 119,000 World War II veterans still alive, according to statistics released from the Pew Research Center. That is less than 1% of the total population of living veterans in the US, which is currently around 18 million veterans.
With the new programs, these WWII veterans will no longer need to pay enrollment fees, monthly premiums, or make copayments. It doesn't matter what the veterans' disability rating is in the VA health system, they will all be eligible for the program.
"These members of the Greatest Generation answered the call to serve when our nation -- and the world -- needed them most. Now, it's our job to serve them in every way that we can," stated VA Under Secretary for Health Dr. Shereef Elnahal.
The VA said they will reach out to all WWII veterans to inform them to apply for VA health care if they are not already enrolled. They also said that if those veterans enroll, they will still be able to keep any private providers they have, along with Medicare.
Department officials said VA care is "the best, most-affordable health care in America for veterans." They also stated that veterans who do decide to get their care from the VA "have better health outcomes than non-enrolled veterans."
To encourage more veterans to enroll in VA health care, the department kicked off a new large-scale advertising campaign. Here is what the VA said about the campaign:
The $5+ million campaign, “What You Earned,” focuses on educating Veterans and their families about some of the most tangible, cost-saving benefits of using VA – including low-cost or no-cost health care, debt-free education, $0 down payments on home loans, no-cost memorial services and burials, and much more.
In other news, the VA announced they have expanded a program that reimburses health care expenses for families who lived at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, between 1952 and 1987 to include Parkinson's disease.