VA Health Care Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  If I am enrolled with the VA, what benefits will I receive? 

A.  Once eligibility is established, veterans enrolled in the VA health care system will be eligible to receive inpatient and outpatient services, including preventive and primary care. These include: diagnostic and treatment services; rehabilitation; mental health and substance abuse treatment; home health, respite and hospice care; and drugs in conjunction with VA treatment.

Q.  If I am enrolled, what cost will there be for me?

A.  There is no monthly premium for VA care. When you use services, the requirement for co-payments is based on your VA eligibility rating. If you are a veteran with a condition rated 50 percent service connected or more, or are being treated for a specific service connected condition, you will be provided treatment at no cost. All other co-payment responsibilities are set by law and are dependent on your individual or family's income if you have dependents.

Q.  Is this an insurance policy or an HMO? 

A.  It is neither. VA benefits are established by Federal law and regulations and funded through appropriations. They are not the same as an insurance contract. Also, veterans do not pay monthly premiums to receive VA health care. In addition, you are not required to use the VA as your exclusive health care provider. If you have health insurance, or eligibility for other programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, or CHAMPUS, you may continue to use services under those programs. We recommend that, if you have other insurance or HMO coverage, you should keep that coverage to provide you with options and flexibility in the future.

Q.  Do enrolled veterans have to pay the deductibles that their insurance carrier requires when treated at the VA?

A.  No. VA does not require veterans to pay those charges. In addition some insurance companies will apply VA co-payment charges toward satisfaction of their annual deductible.

Q.  Are there any restrictions on getting care in private facilities? 

A.  Yes. Care in private facilities at VA expense is provided only certain circumstances, namely, when VA has a contract arrangement for certain services or when a veterans who is service disabled is too far from a VA facility to receive care.

Q.  Will VA take care of my nursing home needs?

A.  Nursing home care in VA or private nursing homes may be provided, as space and resources permit, to certain veterans who are acutely ill or incapacitated but not in need of hospital care.

Q.  Are there any special benefits for recently discharged combat veterans?

A.  Yes.  Veterans should contact the Enrollment Coordinator at the nearest VA health care facility for more information.

Q. Who should a veteran contact with questions concerning enrollment priority or eligibility for VA health care?

A.  For more information about enrolment and eligibility for VA health care, veterans can contact the VA's Health Benefits Service Center toll-free at 1-877-222-VETS (8387).