When someone enlists into the military, future healthcare is probably not one of the main reasons for joining. Many veterans believe that several years after serving they can just walk into a VA hospital and get healthcare. This is simply not true.
For basic eligibility, if you served in the active military service and were separated under any condition other than dishonorable, you may qualify for VA health care benefits. Current and former members of the Reserves or National Guard who were called to active duty by a federal order and completed the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty may be eligible for VA health benefits as well. Combat Veterans who were discharged or released from active service on or after January 28, 2003, are eligible to enroll in the VA health care system for 5 years from the date of discharge or release.
When a veteran enrolls in VA healthcare, the VA considers a variety of factors when determining a Veterans’ eligibility for enrollment, but once a Veteran is enrolled, that Veteran remains enrolled in the VA health care system and maintains access to certain VA health benefits. The VA has priority groups set up account to the veterans status.
VA Healthcare is not always 100% free for all veterans. One of the main variables considered is a veteran’s annual income. If a single veteran has an annual income of $36,600 or below he/she is eligible. The allowable income guideline goes up approximately $4,000 per dependent. The veteran may or may not have copays or prescriptions costs. If a veteran has a service connected disability, then annual income is not a factor.
There are many variables that determine if a veteran is eligible for VA Healthcare. The best advice is to stop by the office and REGISTER FOR VA HEALTHCARE. After registration, the VA will mail a packet out informing the veteran of his/her priority group status.
Even if you are not eligible, it helps the thousands of veterans by letting the VA know how many veterans are in our county. With a more accurate number of veterans, we could get access to more services.