VA Implementing Health Care for Camp Lejeune Families Exposed to Past Water Contamination
For thirty years beginning in the 1950’s, drinking water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs.) These VOCs resulted from a dry cleaner improperly disposing of chemicals as well as leaking underground storage tanks containing fuel products. Over one million individuals may have been exposed.
On August 6, 2012, Congress enacted the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012. This legislation provides health care to veterans and health care reimbursement to family members who were stationed or resided at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1957 to 1987. The Department of Veterans Affairs will provide health care or reimbursement for 15 conditions including several cancers, female infertility, and neurobehavioral effects.
Please note the drinking water at Camp Lejeune has been clean and safe since 1987.
Veterans are eligible for VA health care at no cost if the care is related to one of the 15 conditions outlined in the legislation. Co-pays may apply for care that is unrelated to these conditions.
Family members are not eligible for direct care from the VA. Rather, VA will reimburse family members for out-of-pocket health care costs associated with the 15 conditions. VA cannot pay for care for conditions found to have another cause. Since the VA has never provided this type of reimbursement to family members, they are in the process of publishing regulations and building the necessary systems to implement the law. However, they will reimburse medical costs back to March 26, 2013. If you think you may be eligible for this program, save your health insurance “explanation of benefits” documents (EOBs) and your receipts.
For more information, please see the Camp Lejeune Public Health website or call 1-877-222-VETS (8387).
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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