WASHINGTON -- December 6, 2012 -- American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans will soon have increased access to health care services closer to home following a recent Department of Veterans Affairs and Indian Health Service (IHS) joint national agreement.
"There is a long, distinguished tradition of military service among tribes," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "VA is committed to expanding access to native Veterans with the full range of VA programs, as earned by their service to our Nation."
"The President has called on all Cabinet Secretaries to find better ways to provide our military families with the support they deserve, and that is exactly what we are doing today," said Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans benefit from this agreement, which provides increased options for health care services."
As a result of the national agreement, VA is now able to reimburse the IHS for direct care services provided to eligible American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans. While the national agreement applies only to VA and IHS, it will inform agreements negotiated between the VA and tribal health programs. VA copayments do not apply to direct care services provided by IHS to eligible American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans under this agreement. read more>>>