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5.0 Conclusions

The Program continues to be both relevant and aligned with the priorities of the Government of Canada as well as with the Department’s Strategic Outcomes. The provision of extended health care benefits is generally the responsibility of the provincial governments, and some of these benefits are also accessible through private or public health insurance plans. VAC also has a mandate to provide extended benefits to Veterans who meet specified conditions. At times, some overlap of the benefits and services offered by the Program may occur with some provinces and insurance companies. This results in the individual having up to three organizations that may provide the benefit. VAC has some measures in place to ensure the appropriate organization provides the benefit. As VAC continues to improve program delivery, these measures can be further enhanced.

While recipients are generally satisfied with the comprehensive benefits and services offered through the Program, war service recipients are more satisfied than CAF recipients. CAF recipients are now the largest eligible segment under the Program. Nevertheless, war service recipients still account for the highest program utilization and expenditures. This is mainly due to their B-line coverage, advancing age and increasing need for benefits and services. With the CAF recipients becoming a larger group, and increasingly having more complex health care needs, it is the responsibility of the Department to continually review and update the types of benefits and services provided.

The assessment of Program outcomes indicates higher achievement of Program outcomes for the war service population. War service recipients typically have greater access to benefits and services as well as higher utilization and higher self-reporting of needs met compared to CAF recipients. The evaluation was not able to determine definitive reasons for lower program utilization by CAF Veterans. There are indications that CAF Veterans are less aware of eligible benefits and services. Additionally, there is a risk that recipient expectations do not align with individual program eligibility. Performance measurement needs to continue to mature and evolve to develop more refined measures to better assess the achievement of program outcomes.

A review of recent departmental initiatives to improve Program efficiency indicates that while the Department has achieved some success, some initiatives have not yet achieved their intended goals.

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