H.R. 4673 would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to automatically enroll eligible veterans in the department’s patient enrollment system for VA health care benefits and services. That requirement would only apply to veterans who leave the armed forces after enactment. The bill also would require VA to provide veterans with an electronic mechanism for disenrolling from the VA health care system.
CBO expects that most newly separated and eligible veterans will enroll in VA health care under current law. Using data from VA, CBO estimates that under the bill about 58,000 additional veterans would be automatically enrolled in 2022, and a similar number of veterans would be enrolled in each subsequent year. After accounting for the voluntary disenrollment of some veterans, CBO estimates that about 250,000 of those who would be automatically enrolled would remain enrolled by 2026. Accounting for a gradual increase in the use of VA health care by automatically enrolled veterans, CBO estimates that those veterans would receive care that costs on average $3,900 each year. In total, implementing that requirement would cost $3.1 billion over the 2022-2026 period. Such spending would be subject to the appropriation of the estimated amounts.