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The Affordable Care Act, VA, and You


Enrolled with VA? What You Should Know

Your Enrollment Means You Don’t Need to Take Additional Steps

If you are enrolled in any of VA’s programs listed below, you don’t need to do anything more. You meet the requirements to have health care under the health care law:

  • VA health care program
  • Civilian Health and Medical program (CHAMPVA)
  • Spina bifida health care program

The health care law does not change your VA health care benefits or out-of-pocket costs. You can continue to enjoy VA health care, which means you have:

  • Medical care rated among the best in the U.S.
  • Immediate benefits of health care coverage. Veterans may apply for VA health care enrollment at any time.
  • No enrollment fee, monthly premiums, or deductibles. Most Veterans have no out-of-pocket costs. Some Veterans may have to pay small copayments for health care or prescription drugs.
  • More than 1,500 places available to get your care. This means your coverage can go with you if you travel or move.
  • Meets the requirement to have health care coverage that meets the minimum standard.

The goal of the VA health care system is to achieve excellence in patient care and customer satisfaction. VA’s medical mission is singular — to serve Veterans by providing the highest quality health care available anywhere in the world. America’s Veterans deserve nothing less.

For more information about your health benefits, visit anytime or call 1-877-222-VETS (8387) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Eastern.

You, VA and the Internal Revenue Service

The Affordable Care Act requires most U.S. taxpayers to declare they have minimum essential health coverage on their federal tax form.   In December, VA will begin a mailed letter effort to notify all enrollees and beneficiaries of their VA health care coverage period in 2015.  Included with the letter will be IRS Form 1095-B, “Health Coverage”, detailing VA health care coverage in 2015.  Veterans and beneficiaries should use this form to complete the 2015 income tax forms.  The law also requires VA to provide this information to the Internal Revenue Service.  Mailings are expected to be completed by the end of January 2016. For more information about this new requirement, visit

VA and Other Health Insurance

If you have other forms of health care coverage, such as a private insurance plan, Medicare, Medicaid or TRICARE, you can continue to use VA along with these plans. Remember: it is always a good idea to inform your doctors if you are receiving care outside of VA so your health care can be coordinated.

Health Insurance Marketplace

The Marketplace is a way to shop for and purchase private health insurance (for example, health coverage other than VA health care programs) that fits your budget and meets your needs. People who purchase insurance through the Marketplace may be able to lower the costs of health insurance coverage by paying lower monthly premiums. The 2016 Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period is November 1, 2015, through January 31, 2016. For more information, visit

Family Members and the Marketplace

Even though you are covered by your VA health care enrollment, your family members who are not enrolled in a VA health care program and who do not meet the health care law coverage standards should use the Marketplace to get coverage. They may get lower costs on monthly premiums or out-of-pocket costs. They could be eligible for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). They can submit an application for health care coverage through the Marketplace, and learn the amount of assistance for which they are eligible. The 2016 Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period is November 1, 2015, through January 31, 2016. For more information, visit

Canceling Your Enrollment…A Word of Caution

If you choose to cancel your VA health care enrollment, you may reapply for enrollment at any time; however, acceptance for future VA health care enrollment will be based on eligibility factors at the time of application, which may result in a denial of enrollment.

For More Information

1-877-222-VETS (8387)
8 am to 8 pm ET Mon-Fri

Find out if you're eligible: Health Benefits Explorer
Apply now for VA Health Care
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