Public Law 111-137

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    111TH UNITED STATES CONGRESS
    2ND SESSION


    An Act
    To amend title 38, United States Code, to expand veteran eligibility for reimbursement by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for emergency treatment furnished in a non-Department facility, and for other purposes.


    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

    Section 1. EXPANSION OF VETERAN ELIGIBILITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT BY SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS FOR EMERGENCY TREATMENT FURNISHED IN A NON-DEPARTMENT FACILITY.[edit]

    (a) Expansion of Eligibility— Section 1725 of title 38, United States Code, is amended--
    (1) in subsection (b)(3)(C), by striking `or in part'; and
    (2) in subsection (f)(2), by striking subparagraph (E).
    (b) Limitations on Reimbursement- Subsection (c) of such section is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
    `(4)(A) If the veteran has contractual or legal recourse against a third party that would only, in part, extinguish the veteran's liability to the provider of the emergency treatment, and payment for the treatment may be made both under subsection (a) and by the third party, the amount payable for such treatment under such subsection shall be the amount by which the costs for the emergency treatment exceed the amount payable or paid by the third party, except that the amount payable may not exceed the maximum amount payable established under paragraph (1)(A).
    `(B) In any case in which a third party is financially responsible for part of the veteran's emergency treatment expenses, the Secretary shall be the secondary payer.
    `(C) A payment in the amount payable under subparagraph (A) shall be considered payment in full and shall extinguish the veteran's liability to the provider.
    `(D) The Secretary may not reimburse a veteran under this section for any copayment or similar payment that the veteran owes the third party or for which the veteran is responsible under a health-plan contract.'.
    (c) Effective Date-
    (1) IN GENERAL- The amendments made by subsections (a) and (b) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall apply with respect to emergency treatment furnished on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.
    (2) REIMBURSEMENT FOR TREATMENT PROVIDED BEFORE EFFECTIVE DATE- The Secretary may provide reimbursement under section 1725 of title 38, United States Code, as amended by subsections (a) and (b), for emergency treatment furnished to a veteran before the date of the enactment of this Act, if the Secretary determines that, under the circumstances applicable with respect to the veteran, it is appropriate to do so.