Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (CA-26), Chairwoman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee, and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, reintroduced bicameral legislation to allow children of disabled veterans to remain eligible for VA health care 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. The lawmakers first introduced the CHAMPVA Children’s Care Protection Act in April 2019.
“The Affordable Care Act allows children to stay on their parent’s health insurance until age 26, so it is unacceptable that children of disabled veterans, and surviving children of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, do not have the same health care protections under CHAMPVA,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “As we continue to fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that we ensure that the families of these American heroes are able to stay on their health insurance – this is a moral imperative.”
“When individuals in uniform serve our country, their loved ones serve as well,” said Senator Brown. “That’s why it’s especially important for the children of veterans who depend on CHAMPVA to stay on their parents’ insurance while they go on to college or start their careers. They should be able to keep their healthcare, just as children whose parents have private insurance can today.”
“MOAA is extremely grateful for Rep. Brownley’s and Sen. Brown’s dedicated commitment on this issue by continuing to champion the CHAMPVA Children’s Protection Act,” said MOAA’s President and CEO, Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins, USAF (Ret). “Our collective veteran and military community partners remain determined to do all we can to assure veteran parents are given the same opportunity to provide life-saving health care to their children. It is time to close this age parity gap and provide CHAMPVA-eligible young adult children health care coverage once and for all – we cannot let this moment pass, we must seize the urgency of these unprecedented times to eliminate this unacceptable inequity.”
“PVA thanks Representative Brownley and Senator Brown for reintroducing the CHAMPVA Children’s Care Protection Act. Surviving children of military veterans who are eligible for CHAMPVA should be able to retain their healthcare coverage until their 26th birthday just like those in private and federal healthcare plans. We urge Congress to correct this inequity as soon as possible,” said Heather Ansley, Paralyzed Veterans of America’s Associate Executive Director of Government Relations.
The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) provides comprehensive healthcare 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 they are not a student or at age 23 otherwise.
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.
Read the full text of the bill, here.
Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA), American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), American Psychological Association (APA), America’s Warrior Partnership (AWP), Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA), Association of Military Surgeons of the United States (AMSUS), Association of the United States Army (AUSA), Blinded Veterans Associations (BVA), Blue Star Families (BSF), Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), Chief Warrant and Warrant Officers Association – United States Coast Guard (CWOA), Commissioned Officers Association of the USPHS Inc. (COA), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Easterseals, Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Fleet Reserve Association (FRA), Gold Star Waives of America, Inc. (GSW), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America (JWV), Marine Corps League (MCL), Marine Corps Reserve Association (MCRA), Military Chaplains Association (MCA), Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), Minority Veterans of America (MVA), Modern Military Association of America (MMAA), National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), National Military Family Association (NMFA), Naval Enlisted Reserve Association (NERA), Non Commissioned Officers Association of the United States of America (NCOA), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Protect Our Defenders, Reserve Officers Association (ROA), Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), The Independence Fund, The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA), Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association (CPOA), United States Army Warrant Officers Association (USAWOA), United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), VetsFirst, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).
Read more about the stakeholders’ support for the bill, here.