But Essie Hogue says veterans be stuck paying more. She's a nurse at the Salisbury VA hospital and president of the local chapter of American Federation of Government Employees.
"I mean with the unemployment rate the way it is, I don't know where they think the veterans are gonna get the money to pay their part, because they will have large co-pays," says Hogue. "They don't have to pay these large co-pays if they continue their treatment within the VA hospital."
Salisbury VA Hospital Director Carolyn Adams says veterans should only have to pay extra if they go to an emergency room with a condition that's not really an emergency.
"Part of our efforts will be in the education component of what is an emergency and how to access this care," says Adams.
Adams adds the VA will also expand treatment options at its smaller clinics in Charlotte and Winston-Salem to take care of more veterans with non-emergency issues.
Still, she says feedback from veterans in the next three years will shape the changes. Already, she says dental services have been added to the plan for the VA's Hickory clinic as a result of veteran requests.