Basic Eligibility  A person who served in the active military service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable may qualify for VA health care benefits. Reservists and National Guard members also may qualify for VA health care benefits if they were called to active duty (other than for training only) by a federal order and completed the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty.

Veterans who enlisted after Sept. 7, 1980, or who entered active duty after Oct. 16, 1981, must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which they were called to active duty in order to be eligible. This minimum duty requirement may not apply to veterans discharged for hardship, early out, or a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.

Enrollment  For most veterans, entry into the VA health care system begins by applying for enrollment.

To apply, complete VA Form 10-10EZ (Application for Health Benefits.  Once enrolled, veterans can receive health care at VA health care facilities anywhere in the country. Veterans enrolled in the VA health care system are afforded privacy rights under federal law.

During enrollment, each veteran is assigned to a priority group based on their service connected disability rating and other factors. VA uses priority groups to balance demand for VA health care enrollment with resources.
Federal Benefit.  Enrollment forms may be obtained from any VA health care facility, regional benefits office, or online.

Non-VA Medical Center Emergency Care  Veterans are eligible for emergency care at non-VA facilities under certain circumstances. The 2010 Veterans Emergency Care Protective Act enable VA to reimburse veterans enrolled in VA health care for the remaining cost of emergency treatment if the veteran has outside insurance that only covers part of the cost.  If non-VA emergency care is received, notification to the nearest VA health care facility must be made within 48 hours of hospitalization. VA payment is limited up to the point that veteran’s condition is stable for transport to a VA facility.  The VA can also provide retroactive reimbursements for emergency care received on or after July 19, 2001, if considered appropriate under the circumstances.
Federal Benefit.  Contact your local VA Medical Center for information.

5-Year Post Deployment Benefit  Veterans, including members of the National Guard and activated reservists, are eligible for the enhanced “Combat Veteran” benefits if they served on active duty in a theater of combat operations after Nov. 11, 1998, and have been discharged under honorable conditions.
Federal Benefit.  Contact the OIF/OEF Coordinator at your local VA Medical Center.

Standard Benefits  VA’s medical benefits package provides you the following health care services
to all enrolled veterans:

• Preventive Care Services

• Ambulatory (Outpatient) Diagnostic and Treatment Services

• Hospital (Inpatient) Diagnostic Treatment

• VA prescribed Medications and Supplies

Acute Care Services, which may have limitations and special eligibility criteria, include:

• Ambulance service

• Dental Care

• Durable Medical equipment

• Eyeglasses

• Hearing Aids

• Home Health Care Homeless programs

• Maternity and Parturition services

• Non-VA Health Care Services

• Orthopedic, Prosthetic, and Rehabilitative Devices

Rehabilitative Services

• Readjustment Counseling

• Sexual Trauma Counseling

TriCare is the Department of Defense’s managed health care program for active duty military and their dependents, as well as military retirees and their dependents.  There are four options for your health care; TriCare Prime, TriCare Extra, TriCare Standard and TriCare for Life.  Each of these options has specific benefits, exclusions, co-pay and deductible requirements. Enrollment is not mandatory for TriCare Extra or TriCare Standard.  Enrollment is required for TriCare Prime, and at age 65 you become eligible as long as you have Medicare Parts A and B. TriCare Prime also has fewer out-of-pocket costs than oterh TriCare options.  TriCare For Life has minimal out of pocket costs, aside from Medicare part B premiums. Benefits should be coordinated between Medicare and TriCare.
Federal Benefit: To contact TriCare call 1-888-TRIWEST (1-888-874-9378).

Online healthcare management  Managing your health information – appointments, prescriptions, labs, blood tests and even exchanging messages with your health care team – has never been easier.  My HealtheVet, your online Personal Health Record, helps you gain a better understanding of your health status and allows you to explore a variety of ways to monitor and improve your health, 24 hours a day/7days a week.  To get the most out of My HealtheVet, Veterans are urged to visit their local VA health care facility to get an upgraded account, known as In-Person Authentication (IPA). This simple process allows you to use My HealtheVet to:

• View your VA appointments

• Access VA wellness reminders

• Communicate online through secure messaging

• View laboratory results and more

To begin using My HealtheVet, register today at

Women Veterans Healthcare  Women veterans are eligible for the same VA benefits as male veterans.  Comprehensive health services are available to women veterans including primary care, specialty care, mental health care and reproductive health care services VA provides management of acute and chronic illnesses, preventive care, contraceptive services, menopause management, and cancer screenings, including pap smear and mammograms, and gynecology.

Maternity care is covered in the Medical Benefits package to include care for newborn children of women veterans for up to 7 days after birth. VA is also mandated to implement pilot programs to provide child care to women veterans receiving medical care, and to provide readjustment services to women veterans. Infertility evaluation and limited treatments also are available.  Expanding Healthcare services for women veterans is requiring VA to report to Congress on its comprehensive assessment of the barriers in providing health care to women veterans. VA is required to train its mental health providers in the treatment of military sexual trauma.

Federal Benefit.  Women Veterans Program Managers are available at all VA facilities to help veterans seeking treatment and benefits.  Call 1-855-VA-WOMEN (1-855-829-6636) or your local VA Medical Center.