Veterans who have served in the US military can enjoy many advantages that will help them in various ways, but one of the key advantages is access to health care from Veterans Affairs (VA). Unfortunately, not all veterans qualify for VA health care – this article will discuss who does and doesn’t qualify as well as its eligibility requirements and explain eligibility criteria for this program.
Veterans qualifying for VA healthcare depend on meeting certain qualifications relating to service-connected disabilities, income limits and priority groups as well as other criteria. To become eligible, veterans must meet all of these qualifications in order to access care at a VA hospital or clinic. Patients are prioritized based on severity of injury impacting daily lives as well as needing ongoing care – with priority given to veterans with service-connected disabilities eligible for disability compensation being prioritized above those below national/geographical threshold income thresholds with copayment agreements for medical services.
To be eligible for VA health care, veterans must demonstrate they have been disabled as the result of active duty military service and that it meets a threshold rating of 10 percent disabling; it must meet certain minimum criteria, be either mental or physical, and been diagnosed by a VA healthcare physician.
Most veterans with active duty military service who meet minimum service requirements and qualify for enrollment in the Veterans Affairs health care system are eligible to enroll. This includes anyone enlisting after September 7, 1980 or entering active duty after October 16, 1981 as well as meeting other criteria; Reserve or National Guard servicers serving at least 24 consecutive months, or those called up by federal order and fulfilling their full period can also enroll.
In addition to medical care, the VA provides numerous other programs and services that offer additional support to its patients. For example, educational and counseling services are also provided as a part of this support package that can help veterans manage mental illness, physical disabilities or any combination of issues which compromise quality of life.
The VA is the only healthcare provider offering comprehensive expertise on an array of conditions and issues, such as spinal cord injury, limb loss, mental illness and environmental exposures. They have an impressive record in providing numerous national programs such as audiology/speech pathology/vision rehabilitation/physical medicine/rehabilitation as well as home health care services.
Individuals not eligible for VA health care will need to find other solutions for their healthcare. Options might include health insurance through an employer or trade organization; family plans might provide coverage; or they might purchase individual coverage through the Affordable Care Act exchanges.