CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Today. U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) urged U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Secretary Wilkie to classify mobile COVID-19 testing as “Urgent Care” or “Emergency Care” for veterans in order to allow veterans to get tested in the community without prior-authorization by the VA. Secretary Wilkie gave the Senators assurances that he would look into the waiver process for veterans to get tested at mobile testing sites with costs covered by the VA.
“I appreciate Secretary Wilkie taking the time today to speak with us about this important issue facing our veterans during this pandemic. West Virginia is home to thousands of veterans, many of whom live in rural, hard-to-reach areas of the state,” Senator Capito said. “Those living in the more remote areas of our rural state shouldn’t have to decide between traveling to the nearest VA facility or paying for a COVID-19 test out of pocket. Making sure VA policy is improved to ensure our veterans have access to these testing sites is so important during this pandemic more than ever, and I appreciate Secretary Wilkie’s commitment to assisting us with this issue.”
“No one in America should have to pay for COVID-19 testing out of their own pocket, especially our brave veterans. Today Senator Capito and I urged VA Secretary Wilkie to allow veterans to be tested at mobile testing sites with their costs covered by the VA. Secretary Wilkie promised that he would look into the process to see what can be done to ensure veterans can receive coverage for their tests, no matter where they go. The CARES Act included $19.57 billion to ensure the VA has equipment, tests, telehealth capabilities and support services necessary to support veterans and the healthcare workforce at facilities nationwide. No veteran should have to jump through hoops to receive a test right now. I will continue to work with the VA until this issue is resolved for our veterans in West Virginia and across the nation,” said Senator Manchin.
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