Legislation has been reintroduced to allow children of disabled veterans to remain eligible for coverage under CHAMPVA
By PVA National Staff
Legislation has been reintroduced to allow children of disabled veterans to remain eligible for coverage under the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) until they are 26 years old – the same coverage required under the Affordable Care Act for private-sector insurance plans, as well as the military’s TRICARE program. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) simultaneously introduced the legislation, S. 1034 /H.R. 2094, with Senator Brown being joined by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jack Reed (D-RI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), and Dick Durbin (D-IL). CHAMPVA provides comprehensive health care benefits for dependents of permanently and totally disabled veterans, survivors of veterans who died as a result of a service-connected disability, survivors of veterans who at the time of death were permanently and totally disabled from a service-connected disability, and survivors of service members who died in the line of duty. Currently, a child of a veteran loses eligibility for CHAMPVA at age 18 if he or she is not a student or at age 23 regardless of student status.
When the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010, it required private-sector health plans to allow children to stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26 years old, but this coverage was not extended to military or veteran health coverage. This discrepancy was addressed for TRICARE in 2011. The CHAMPVA Children’s Care Protection Act would fix this for VA’s CHAMPVA program. This legislation is supported by PVA, DAV (Disabled American Veterans), The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA), Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), and The Military Coalition (TMC).