Contractor unsure of impact of changes to Canada’s Veterans Independence Program
April 12, 2012
Veterans Affairs Canada announced that it would simplify the payment process for Veterans Independence Program (VIP) beneficiaries, as reported by The Guardian. This creates uncertainty for employees of Medavie Blue Cross, a contractor for VIP services in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
Currently, VIP clients pay out-of-pocket for benefits, which include health, nutrition and personal care services, as well as housekeeping and grounds maintenance, according to Veterans Affairs Canada. Receipts for these expenses are submitted for reimbursement.
The new rules would allow VIP to make up-front payments for these services directly to veterans twice a year, which will reduce the paperwork for clients. However, the impact on about 120 Blue Cross workers in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island is unclear.
"We have certainly walked [employees] through that there were going to be some changes and that we were going to develop a transition plan," Patti Faith, communications director for Medavie Blue Cross, told the news source. "Those changes won't take effect until later this year, is our understanding, so we do have some time to develop that transition plan."