VA health care enrollment in Wyo. surges by 35%

Casper Star-Tribune staff

CASPER — The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that 745 Wyoming veterans joined the VA health care system in the last year, outpacing the national average.
Enrollment in Wyoming was 35.44% more than the system enrolled the previous year.
Nationally, the VA enrolled 401,006 veterans in VA health care over the past 365 days – 30% more than the previous year.
This is the most yearly enrollees in at least five years at VA, and nearly a 50% increase over pandemic-level enrollment in 2020, according to the department.
This historic enrollment has been made possible by the PACT Act, which has allowed VA to expand VA health care and benefits to millions of veterans. The VA is also conducting the most aggressive outreach campaign in its history, including hosting more than 2,600 events since the passage of the PACT Act, launching a $16 million advertising campaign, using public service announcements, and — for the first time — sending text messages to veterans encouraging them to enroll in VA health care.
“We want every eligible veteran to enroll in VA health care for one simple reason: Veterans who come to VA are proven to have better health outcomes – and pay less – than veterans who don’t,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “That’s why we’ve spent the past year meeting veterans where they are – hosting thousands of events, sending millions of texts, advertising on every corner, and much more – to get them to come to VA. This aggressive outreach campaign has led more Veterans to enroll in VA care than during any year in at least a decade, and we’re not slowing down now.”
The VA recently expanded health care eligibility for millions of Veterans nationwide, years earlier than called for by the PACT Act. As of March 5, all veterans who were exposed to toxins and other hazards while serving in the military and meet certain requirements became eligible to enroll directly in VA health care.
This means that all veterans who served in the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Global War on Terror, or any other combat zone after 9/11 will be eligible to enroll directly in VA health care without first applying for VA benefits.
Additionally, veterans who never deployed but were exposed to toxins or hazards while training or on active duty in the United States will also be eligible to enroll.
The VA also recently expanded health care to all World War II veterans.
For more information about VA care, visit the VA’s health care website.
For more information about the impact of the PACT Act, visit the VA’s PACT Act dashboard.