Hultgren bill aims to shield veterans’ credit rating from VA medical payment waiting times

A bill reintroduced by U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) aims to protect the credit scores of veterans by having a grace period so that medical billing problems can be resolved at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which could be a result of errors or payment delays.

Lead cosponsor of the bipartisan bill is U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and they have secured 20 cosponsors so far.

VA payment delays from Veterans Choice or various community care services could result in medical providers forwarding bills to debt collecting companies and this could have a negative impact on the veteran’s credit ratings even though they did nothing wrong. This listing of huge or inaccurate medical bills on the credit report of the veteran might make it difficult for them to purchase a car or a home.

The VA set up a call center to address these problems and in only a few months they have been flooded with thousands of calls.

Hultgren stated that too many veterans have suffered from the delays at the VA and the bureaucracy shouldn’t impact their credit rating. Veterans and their families should be getting timely and accurate billing as well as reimbursements from the VA. With the new legislation, the veterans won’t be responsible for the ineptitude of the bureaucracy.

A 1 year grace period will be established using the Protecting Veterans Credit Act that would allow the veteran to deal with medical billing problems before they are forwarded to collection companies. Veterans can also use this process to deal with billing problems that they already have.

Walorski said that veterans’ credit ratings should not be impacted and they shouldn’t have to worry about their financial future because of delays and errors at the VA.

She went on to say that too many veterans who require assistance due to the VA or one of their contractors not paying the medical expenses for approved non-VA medical care. The common sense bill will safeguard the veterans while the VA, service providers and contractors deal with billing problems.

 

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