Health Benefits for Veterans

The Veterans Administration (VA) serves the needs of America’s veterans. Men and women who have been in the military service can get healthcare and social support services from the VA.

What is covered?

The VA provides healthcare, including hospital care, in many locations in the US. It may also provide:

  • Home healthcare
  • Hospice care
  • Mental health and substance abuse treatment
  • Prescription medicines
  • Preventive services, such as shots, screening tests, and health education
  • Outpatient surgery
  • Urgent care

VA benefits do not usually cover hearing aids and eyeglasses. However, these items may be covered if you need them for a problem related to your service in the military.

Who is eligible?

You may be eligible for VA benefits if:

  • You served full-time in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard. Current and former members of the Reserves or National Guard who were called or ordered to active duty may also qualify.
  • You received an honorable or general discharge.

You may be eligible for services that are not standard benefits. You need to apply for them and there are some restrictions. These services include:

  • Adult day care
  • Help at home, such as help with personal care, medicines, or cooking
  • Nursing facility care
  • Geriatric assessment

A geriatric assessment determines the ability of an older adult to live alone. It can help figure out what kind of help is needed, who can provide care, and where the older adult might live.

How do I get benefits?

To get VA benefits, you must enroll. You can sign up in person at any VA healthcare facility or office. You may also apply on line or over the phone.

The number of veterans who can be enrolled in the health care program is determined by the amount of money Congress gives the VA each year. Because funds are limited, the VA sets up priority groups. This helps make sure that certain groups of veterans are able to be enrolled before others. When you sign up, you are placed in one of the eight priority groups. Priority 1 is the highest priority for enrollment.

You don’t have to pay a monthly premium for VA care. However, if your annual income is over a set amount, you may have to pay co-payments.

If you are enrolled for VA healthcare, you can still use other sources of insurance for healthcare, such as private health insurance. If you have insurance, it may cover co-payments.

You may also be able to get VA benefits for your spouse or children.

You can get more information from:

Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-12-08
Last reviewed: 2014-12-08
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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