If you are a veteran who is planning to travel or move overseas, you are no doubt concerned about your health care coverage. While your spouse and children may be covered for just about every medically necessary service under CHAMPVA (if you qualify) you probably are not. Instead, you may be able to enroll in the VA Foreign Medical Program.
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What Is the Foreign Medical Program?
Veterans who live or travel overseas may be covered for medical treatment under the VA Foreign Medical Program or FMP. Through the FMP, the Department of Veterans Affairs assumes payment for treatment of veterans’ service-connected conditions abroad.
Just like CHAMPVA, the health coverage program for families of permanently and totally disabled veterans, the FMP will pay only up to the VA allowable amount for covered services. That means if you pay upfront (as you probably will) for medical services overseas, you may receive only a partial reimbursement from the VA. This is also true for CHAMPVA foreign claims.
The Foreign Medical Program extends to both veterans who live overseas (expatriates) or are merely traveling or visiting temporarily.
How to Join the Foreign Medical Program
To enroll in the FMP, use VA Form 10-7959f-1: Foreign Medical Program Registration. This is a simple form that asks for basic information such as your name, SSN and VA claim file number, physical and mailing addresses.
Submit the completed and signed form to the FMP office. The registration form provides the current mailing address and fax number where you can send your application to.
How to File a Claim with the Foreign Medical Program
To seek reimbursement, fill out and submit VA Form 10-7959f-2: Foreign Medical Program Claim Cover Sheet. Attach the following supporting material:
- Itemized billing statements
- Receipts (as proof of your payment)
- Explanation of Benefits of your health insurance, if you have one that processed the same claim prior to the VA
Finding a Provider
There is no guarantee that the physician of your choice will accept FMP payment, which may be lower than their actual charges. Before you see a provider, verify that they will accept FMP. You might try contacting your local U.S. embassy or consulate for help.
Claim Filing Deadline
A veteran enrolled in the Foreign Medical Program has up to two years from the date of service to file a claim for reimbursement. In the case of hospitalization (i.e. inpatient care), use the date of discharge.
Medical Coverage in the Philippines
The Foreign Medical Program excludes the Philippines. Services received from all other covered countries are managed at the FMP’s head office in Denver. Said office is concerned only with the FMP; it does not handle cases involving other VA benefits. To address concerns about your veterans’ benefits, contact your local servicing VA Regional Office or VARO.
Questions and issues about medical services in the Philippines should be sent to the VA outpatient clinic at Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City, Metro Manila.
Unhappily for those veterans who may need it, the Foreign Medical Program does not pay for treatment of non-service-connected conditions.
In addition, treatments that are not up to U.S. medical standards or accepted by the American medical community, and drugs that are not FDA-approved, are not covered.