While United States Veterans may receive care from the VA, they do not always live without medical debt. Veteran Bob Ramsey told KARE that even though he was recommended to receive treatment at a private hospital, he still didn’t receive coverage from the VA:
Bob usually receives all of his medical care through the Minneapolis VA hospital, and speaks glowingly of the treatment he’s received from doctors and nurses there. “It’s a great place to go get care,” Bob said. “I have no complaints at all.” However, he does have a big complaint with the VA bureaucracy that has refused to pay the bill for a 2015 emergency room visit at a private hospital, even though he says a VA employee told him to go there.
Veterans around the country may fall into debt because they require services that the VA cannot offer. Most of the time the VA will not provide health coverage for these services if they are performed by private hospitals. In the case of veteran Ramsey, his inability to pay for his medical bills caused him to be turned over to a collection agency:
Bob says he tried reasoning with the VA for nearly a year. Meanwhile his unpaid bill from Maple Grove Hospital was turned over to a collection agency. “Those people are hounds!” he vented. “They’ll continue to call and harass you.”
The VA may provide a myriad of services for veterans, however this does not mean that veterans do not face medical debt problems like the rest of the population.