“If I have VA benefits, do I need health insurance?” If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, you’re not alone. Trying to compare between VA benefits and health insurance can be confusing, so here’s a look at how VA benefits work and why you might still need health insurance.
Do US Veterans Get Free Health Care?
As a US veteran, you qualify for free VA health care if you develop a “service-connected” injury or illness. A service-connected injury or illness is any ailment caused by or related to your military service. You may also qualify for free health care if you:
- fall below certain income thresholds; or
- are severely disabled i.e. you have a disability rating of at least 50%.
Healthedly can help with your VA health care needs – contact us to learn more.
What Are VA Health Insurance Benefits?
VA health care covers a variety of health services at VA hospitals, clinics, and outpatient centers. Benefits include:
- emergency care
- hospice care
- inpatient treatment e.g. surgery
- outpatient treatment e.g. physiotherapy
- prosthetics and orthotics
If you have VA benefits, you will be treated at a VA medical center. In emergencies, you may be treated elsewhere and moved to a VA center once stabilized.
VA Health Insurance Benefits Eligibility
Individuals can qualify for VA health insurance benefits if they:
- have served active duty in the air, naval, or military service; and
- were not dishonorably discharged.
Members of the National Guard or Reserves do not qualify unless they have served a full active duty period.
Do VA Benefits Count as Health Insurance?
Yes. Anyone enrolled in VA benefits is considered to have sufficient health insurance under US law. So, if you’re enrolled in any one of the following programs, you don’t need extra coverage:
- Spina bifida health care benefits program
- VA Civilian Health and Medical Program
- Veterans health care
Do I Need Supplemental Health Insurance With VA Benefits?
Maybe – just because VA benefits count as health insurance doesn’t mean they’re enough to offer complete protection. Here’s why.
When you sign up for VA benefits, you’re assigned to a priority group between one and eight. Group one veterans have significant injuries, can’t work due to their condition, or have received a Medal of Honor. They receive comprehensive, free health care through their VA benefits.
On the other hand, if you’re assigned to a lower priority group, such as group eight, you’ll be expected to cover the costs of injuries or illnesses unless they’re service-related. You could be left unable to meet the costs of medical treatment without supplementary insurance in place.
Bottom line? Although VA benefits count as health insurance, they might not offer the fullest coverage. Healthedly can help you find, compare, and enroll in the best available individual and family health plans. Call us now to learn more.