Improving veterans’ employment and health care

The men and women who serve in our military protect us overseas. We need to make sure they’re treated well at home.  This year, legislation I authored will encourage the hiring of veterans and the reduction of unemployment for those who served this country. Starting October 1st, employers will be able to apply for a B&O tax credit if they hire a veteran. No credit can be claimed until the employee has been employed at least two consecutive quarters, but the credit equals twenty percent of wages and benefits. We owe our veterans a bright future and this tax credit will help.

In addition, this year saw the Senate move swiftly to ensure veterans and their families were eligible for supplemental health insurance. Washington state was one of the few states that actually prohibited the kinds of plans that enable veterans to obtain supplemental health insurance for their families. Veterans enrolled in the Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA) couldn’t get supplemental coverage for the 20 percent out-of-pocket costs CHAMPVA didn’t cover. When the Senate learned that this legal loophole was blocking veterans’ families from obtaining better coverage, we swiftly changed it to ensure the provider of supplemental insurance for these plans would be able to offer benefits in our state. It’s a small fix, but it should mean substantial savings and peace of mind for our veterans.