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How to Apply


VA Health Care

VA provides world-class health care to eligible Veterans. The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, with more than 1,700 sites of care, and it is consistently ranked among the nation’s top health care providers.

Many Veterans may be eligible for VA health care. Enrollment in VA health care satisfies your Affordable Care Act health coverage requirement—no add-on insurance plan is needed. VA encourages you to explore your health care benefits, including the following services:

  • All enrolled Veterans have access to VA’s comprehensive medical benefits package including preventive, primary, and specialty care; prescriptions; mental health care; home health care; geriatrics and extended care; medical equipment and prosthetics; and more.
  • Most Veterans qualify for cost-free health care services, although some Veterans must pay modest copays for health care or prescriptions.
  • Women Veterans can receive primary care, breast and cervical cancer screenings, prenatal care, maternity care coverage, and other gender-specific services.
  • Veterans who have served in combat-zones—and their family members—may visit VA’s many community-based Vet Centers, which provide no-cost counseling, outreach, and referral services to help the whole family adjust to life after deployment.
  • Combat Veterans who were discharged or released from active service on or after Jan. 28, 2003, are eligible to enroll in the VA healthcare system for five years from the date of their discharge or release, regardless of their disability claim status. Combat Veterans who enroll with VA under this enhanced Combat Veteran authority will continue to be enrolled after their enhanced eligibility period ends, although their enrollment priority group may change. Many Combat Veterans applying after their five-year special enrollment period ends are eligible for enrollment and are encouraged to learn more about these and other health care benefits on VA’s health benefits page.

VA Requirements

Military Service Requirements
  • Veterans must have served in the active military, naval, or air service and separated under any conditions other than dishonorable.
  • Most 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. This includes current and former members of the Reserve or National Guard called to active duty by a federal order.
Application Requirements
  • Proof of discharge papers such as DD-214
  • Any additional health insurance information, including coverage through a spouse or domestic partner
  • Wage and financial information, including previous calendar-year gross income for the Veteran, spouse, and dependent children

VA Application Process

Applying is easy: Submit an application form and VA will send you written notification of your enrollment status.

  • Explore your eligibility for health care using VA’s Health Benefits Explorer tool.
  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is designed to expand access to health coverage, control health care costs, improve health care quality, and coordinate health care. Learn more about Veterans and ACA at VA’s ACA website.
photo: Mitchell

I know there’s help out there. It’s just up to me to take advantage of it.

Mitchell
Army Veteran
Vietnam


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