H.R. 2372 codifies a Department of Treasury regulation that allows veterans who are eligible for, but do not elect to be covered by, certain Veterans Affairs health programs to qualify for current law premium assistance tax credits. In addition, the bill amends H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) of 2017, to provide the same rule with respect to the new credit for the purchase of health insurance.
According to the bill’s sponsor, “Our veterans have put their lives on the line to defend freedom and our individual liberties, and they are promised affordable access to health care through the VA when they return home. However, some veterans choose to forgo this health care option. That’s where my VETERANS Act comes into play. This bill would provide veterans the certainty that they will continue to have access to health care if they decide the VA isn’t the best fit for their health care needs. I thank our veterans for their service and sacrifice to our Great Nation, and I look forward to seeing this bill swiftly signed into law.”
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jun 15, 2017.
(This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the House on June 2, 2017. The summary of that version is repeated here.)
Veterans Equal Treatment Ensures Relief and Access Now Act or the VETERAN Act
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to specify that, for the purpose of determining eligibility for the premium assistance tax credit, an individual may not be treated as eligible for coverage under certain Department of Veterans Affairs health insurance programs unless the individual is enrolled in the program.
The bill applies to the premium assistance credit under current law for tax years ending after 2013 and, if the American Health Care Act of 2017 is enacted, the modified premium assistance credit that would take effect under that bill after 2019.
(Under current law, the premium assistance tax credit is a refundable tax credit provided to eligible individuals and families to subsidize the purchase of health insurance plans through an exchange established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Individuals eligible for minimum essential health coverage from certain sources other than the individual insurance market are not eligible for the credit.)