It’s important to know about the various benefits that exist for a veteran when it comes to health care coverage. The options are extensive and are based on what the veteran has for VA coverage as well as their current income level.
Understanding the options makes it easier to obtain coverage for an affordable monthly payment. Often, a veteran is able to seek VA coverage. The Veterans Health Care Program is designed to provide coverage based on service. For those who are disabled in any capacity, they will be able to get medical coverage as well as disability income. It is all based on percentages for the various ailments and medical conditions. Once a veteran reaches 100 percent disability, all of their health care coverage is taken care of, as is the coverage for all dependents.
There is Always “TRICARE”
TRICARE is another option for a veteran to explore. Not everyone is able to qualify for TRICARE upon retirement, however, it is an option for many. For those who completed a full retirement of 20 years, they will be able to seek the option. There are various plans available, ensuring that a veteran can choose the necessary coverage for themselves as well as their family. They will have coverage in all major areas:
- Doctor visits
- Emergency room visits
Having the coverage needed is vital. Especially if there are pre-existing conditions, it’s important to read through all of the details of a plan. With TRICARE, the doctor visits take place at a military base or military hospital. As such, veterans who live too far from such a facility may be unable to sign up for TRICARE, thus requiring them to explore other options for health care coverage. The military offers other coverage options, too. These include VA Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA) and the Spina bifida health care benefits program. Each has requirements that need to be met in order to be offered benefits within the program.
If a veteran doesn’t have coverage through Veteran Affairs, there are still plenty of health care coverage options. They will be able to go through the health insurance marketplace on healthcare.gov. Once they complete a survey discussing their earnings and their household size, they can see what their options are. Private insurance could be affordable. Various programs are in place, which are designed to supplement the cost of insurance premiums as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Veterans are often able to choose the actual insurance company they get their health insurance through. This ensures that they can look at the total level of coverage that is obtained and see what doctors are included in their area. This is particularly important if a veteran and his or her family has a doctor that they already favor. Not all doctors are included in all health plans. If a veteran has low income, they might also qualify for Medicaid. This would be available for them as a veteran as well as for the dependents that they have.
There is also the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Either of these programs may be available for a minimal amount per month or at no cost at all, depending on the level of income and the size of the family. It’s important to understand that no matter what, a veteran must have health care or face the penalty just like everyone else. The first step for any veteran to find health care coverage is to sit down with a specialist at a VA office. It will allow them to apply for disability and find out what they qualify for. From there, they can explore TRICARE and the other VA options that exist. Without help from the VA, the next option is to explore private insurance. There are plenty of affordable programs available, ensuring that health care coverage is obtained for not only the veteran but also the entire family.