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S. 3020 (117th): Veterans State Eligibility Standardization Act


The text of the bill below is as of Oct 20, 2021 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


II

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 3020

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

October 20, 2021

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

A BILL

To require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to modify the eligibility of veterans for treatment as a low-income family for purposes of enrollment in the patient enrollment system of the Department of Veterans Affairs and to guarantee health care benefits for veterans enrolled in such system, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Veterans State Eligibility Standardization Act.

2.

Modification of determination of eligibility of veterans for treatment as a low-income family for purposes of enrollment in the patient enrollment system of the Department of Veterans Affairs

(a)

Areas of residence

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall modify the areas in which veterans reside as specified for purposes of determining whether veterans qualify for treatment as low-income families for enrollment in the patient enrollment system of the Department of Veterans Affairs under section 1705(a)(7) of title 38, United States Code, to meet the requirements as follows:

(1)

Any area so specified shall be within only one State.

(2)

Any area so specified shall be coextensive with one or more counties (or similar political subdivisions) in the State concerned.

(b)

Variable income thresholds

The Secretary shall modify the thresholds for income as specified for purposes of determining whether veterans qualify for treatment as low-income families for enrollment in the patient enrollment system referred to in subsection (a) to meet the requirements as follows:

(1)

There shall be one income threshold for each State, equal to 100 percent of the highest income threshold among—

(A)

the counties or metropolitan statistical areas within such State; and

(B)

any metropolitan statistical area that encompasses territory of such State and one or more other States.

(2)

The calculation of the highest income threshold of a county or metropolitan statistical area shall be consistent with the calculation used for purposes of section 3(b) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437a(b)).

(3)

The timing and methodology for implementing any modifications in geographic income thresholds pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be determined by the Secretary in such a manner as to permit the Department to build capacity for enrolling such additional veterans in the patient enrollment system of the Department as become eligible for enrollment as a result of such modifications, except that all required modifications shall be completed not later than five years after date of the enactment of this Act.

(c)

Metropolitan statistical area

In this section, the term metropolitan statistical area has the meaning given that term by the Office of Management and Budget.

3.

Guarantee of health care benefits for enrolled veterans

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall ensure that all veterans, once enrolled in the patient enrollment system of the Department of Veterans Affairs under section 1705(a) of title 38, United States Code, remain enrolled in such system and may continue receiving health care furnished by the Department if they choose, subject to such cost-sharing requirements as may apply to the veteran under existing provisions of law.