VA health care connects American veterans with a full range of medical and health related services. Veterans health insurance provides enrollees and their families with as much agency and control over their own care as possible.
Veterans can access care at designated Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities, from providers in their home communities or through in-home care programs, depending on their needs and geographic locations. The VA also makes informed, best-practice care available for women, LBGT, sexual abuse survivors and other veteran populations with unique or special health needs.
Benefits from the VA can stand alone or may be layered with other forms of public and private health insurance. Veterans holding VA health insurance for family members and themselves satisfy all Affordable Care Act mandates. However, where applicable, veterans are encouraged to pursue dual enrollment in VA insurance and Medicaid, private insurance or other programs as this can expand their options and minimize costs.
Veterans’ access VA medical benefits can be influenced by their disability statuses, service and discharge histories, annual incomes and places of residence. For example, the Veterans Choice Program offers qualifying veterans the opportunity to seek care from health providers in their home communities instead of at VA facilities. Veterans are only eligible for the program if:
Regardless of where veterans receive care, however, VA health care benefits cover:
Some veterans will also qualify to receive VA health care dental services. Most enrollees who are not eligible to receive dental care directly from the VA may purchase independent, reduced-cost dental insurance through the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP). Veterans and their family members can also look in to Medicaid dental benefits or research ways to save on dental costs.
VA health care eligibility is based on several factors. Veterans health care benefits are available to individuals who:
Former servicemembers who separated from the military dishonorably are not eligible for benefits.
Members of the Guard or Reserves who served no Active Duty time, or who served Active Duty time for training purposes only do not qualify for VA medical benefits.
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Enrollment preference and priority may be given to veterans health insurance applicants who:
Applicants who elect to disenroll from VA health care may reenroll at any time.
Applicants can apply for VA health insurance in person, online, by phone or by mail.
Veterans are strongly encouraged to apply for VA health care benefits if they:
Assistance is available for applicants who need help navigating the veterans health benefits application and enrollment processes.
Veterans families may be eligible for VA health care under a variety of programs. Benefits and eligibility vary by program. Examples of VA health benefit programs for families include, but are not limited to:
Families with questions about eligibility for these and other programs should contact the VA online or using the toll-free application phone numbers listed above.
As of June 2015, the Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes the legal legitimacy of same-sex marriages and any children of those marriages. This applies regardless of veterans’ states of residence or the marriage laws on record in those states. Veterans in same-sex marriages are encouraged to apply for benefits for which they and their spouses qualify, even if they have been denied such benefits prior to the change in law.
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