If you’re one of the many US veterans who requires medical or rehabilitative care, you could benefit significantly from medical care provided in conjunction with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA), provides a wide range of medical, rehabilitative, and surgical care to veterans who qualify for their program with an emphasis on primary and preventative care.
The Medical Benefits package provides both outpatient and inpatient services and has a variety of specialist types of care available as well. Even non-military related injuries and illnesses are covered and veterans can rely on the VA for most of their health care, which can provide significant financial savings throughout the veterans life. Care from the VA also focuses on issues like high rates of post traumatic stress disorder and suicide (as compared to the general population) and can often provide a specialized and personalized form of care that civilian physicians may not be trained to provide. Additionally, combat veterans returning from war zones may be eligible to receive free health care for up to two years for any combat related injuries. Otherwise, a small co-pay generally applies for most care that the VA provides.
Qualification for care with the Veterans Health Administration depends on a variety of factors, and its best to contact the VA to determine if you are eligible for the health program. Most veterans who received an honorable discharge or a general discharge should experience no problem and other types of discharges are allowed, provided that you were discharged under circumstances other than dishonorably. Most veterans need twenty four months of continuous active duty military service. However, this condition will not apply under the following conditions:
You’re an enlisted service member who began active duty before September 8, 1980 or an officer who began active duty prior to October 17,1981.
Were an Active Duty reservist or National Guard member who completed your requested term and were granted an honorable discharge.
Were discharged due to a service related disability or only request a benefit for a service related trauma or injury.
Again, eligibility is ultimately up to the Department of Veterans Affairs and is, unfortunately, limited by the amount of funding provided to the VA by Congress each year. Funds are generally very limited and the VA has set up precedence groups to ensure that veterans with the most need are able to receive care on a prioritized basis in the event that the program should run out of funding.
For more information on the Veterans Health Program, please visit the Health Care website.
Photo thanks to 60in3 under creative common license on Flickr.