Health Care Services
Veterans health care services are administered by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The program oversees the health care services provided to qualifying veterans. Eligible U.S. veterans access the program through various health care facilities including hospitals, clinics and counseling centers. Beneficiaries enjoy health care benefits for veterans, such as mental health care (emotional trauma, suicide prevention, substance abuse, PTSD treatment), women's health issues (breast exams, gynecological care, maternity care), military exposures treatment (Agent Orange, radiation, asbestos), health and wellness services (flu vaccines, immunizations, HIV/AIDS therapy) and dental care. To learn more about veterans health care services, please review the following sections:
- Veterans health care services and products
- Veterans Choice Program
- Veterans Medical Benefits package
- Other health services
Veterans Health Care Services and Products
Health care benefits for veterans are not limited to hospital visits or flu shots. Other health services available to veterans who meet eligibility guidelines can include prosthetic limbs, service and guide dogs, hearing aids, oxygen tanks and wheelchairs. The complete list of health care services for veterans includes much more. Durable medical equipment and supplies are provided according to the needs and circumstances of the veterans and the resources available. Veterans health benefits are given to applicants in order of the eight established priority groups, with group one receiving the highest priority.
As part of the veterans medical benefits package, the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP), an optional insurance, is offered to enrolled veterans. While the VHA does offer dental care, it is based on dental care eligibility requirements. Dental care needed to address an injury incurred from active duty service would be covered, while a dental injury not incurred from active duty might not be covered. Purchasing dental insurance through VADIP allows veterans to choose dental care that better meets their individual needs.
The VHA also offers veterans health care services through prescription benefits on medically necessary medications. These health care costs for veterans will vary. The medications are provided at no cost to veterans who need the medications to treat service-connected disabilities. Otherwise, 30-day prescriptions provided by the VHA will include a co-payment.
Veterans Choice Program
The Veterans Choice Program allows the veteran to seek health care in his or her own community instead of scheduling a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility. The Veterans Choice Program has several eligibility criteria for veterans to meet in order to participate in the program. Veterans can qualify for veterans health benefits locally if they meet one of the following criteria:
- The nearest VA medical facility is over 40 miles away from the veteran's residence.
- The veteran must wait more than a month for an appointment.
- The only way to reach the closest medical facility is by boat or plane.
Veterans Medical Benefits Package
A veterans Medical Benefits Package is made available to most enrolled veterans. The package stresses the importance of focusing on preventative health care, instead of just focusing on primary care. It is intended to provide excellent care and service to veterans. This benefits package is typically provided to every enrolled veteran, regardless of the veteran's priority group status. The list of health care services for veterans is extensive and includes outpatient care, inpatient care, prescription coverage, emergency care and more.
Other Health Services
Mental health services available to veterans come in the form of counseling, rehabilitation and telephone hot lines. Whether it is suicide prevention, substance abuse or some other form of mental health issue, the VHA provides services to help veterans with their problems. Toll-free hot lines have been established for veterans in crisis and suicide prevention programs to bring care to veterans in need. The hot-lines are free, confidential and able to provide support to each individual.