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Veterans Administration health services not affected by shutdown

IRON MOUNTAIN, MI (WXPR) - Veterans' health services are not being affected by the government shutdown. Iron Mountain VA Health Center spokesman Brad Nelson says other aspects of Veterans Affairs may be impacted, but clinics and health services are funded well in advance. "We already have advance appropriations for 2014, so we're remaining fully open in that regard. So we are not impacted by this current lapse in appropriations."

Nelson also notes that those enrolled in VA healthcare won't see changes to their plans as a result of the Affordable Care Act and health exchanges launching this week. He says rates and benefits will remain the same.  "I think what we want to do is alleviate any confusion. And that's why we're saying that for those that are already enrolled, they don't have to do anything. VA Health does qualify as health care coverage." Nelson is also encouraging veterans to apply for VA health care, even if they haven't served in combat or aren't sure whether they qualify.