By Peter S. Gaytan
A new regulation now offers up to seven days of medical care for newborns delivered by women veterans who are eligible for VA health care benefits. This will include routine post-delivery care and all other medically necessary services (in accord with generally accepted standards of medical practice).
The effective date of the new regulation is December 19, 2011, but VA has ruled that it applies to newborn care provided to eligible female vets on or after May 5, 2011.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Erik K. Shinseki said, “The regulation change makes formal the commitment VA made to women Veterans. This falls in line with the broad range of services VA is proud to offer women Veterans who have served this nation.”
In the past, VA would pay private doctors to provide maternity care for eligible women veterans. But in January, the first female vets, both in Salt Lake City, Utah, who had received their prenatal care from VA doctors, delivered their babies. However, because VA hospitals do not have obstetrical facilities, the women were delivered by the VA doctors at private hospitals. Currently, the VA Hospitals in Salt Lake City and Tucson, Arizona are the only two in the nation to employ obstetricians.
For more information on women veterans health care benefits go to: http://www.womenshealth.va.gov
Peter S. Gaytan is the author of For Service To Your Country – Updated Edition: The Essential Guide to Getting the Veterans’ Benefits You’ve Earned(Citadel, 2011), available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other booksellers. He has served as an advocate in securing and protecting the earned benefits of America’s veterans for more than a decade. Gaytan is the Executive Director of the American Legion, the largest veterans service organization in America.
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