Seamless Care for Traveling Veterans - Health Benefits
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Health Benefits

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Seamless Care for Traveling Veterans

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Traveling Veterans

If you are enrolled and receive your health care with VA, you will receive the same, consistent care, whether at your local VA treatment site or an alternate VA site of care.  In order to help VA ensure you receive consistent care while you are traveling, we ask that you notify your VA Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT), preferably 4 to 6 weeks prior to departure, or as soon as you are aware of the trip. Early planning will allow time for PACT and the Traveling Veteran Coordinator to coordinate your care at an alternate VA facility.

To coordinate your health care with another VA health care facility, you should inform your PACT of the following:

  • travel destination(s), and temporary address
  • a valid telephone number
  • arrival and departure dates
  • specific care concerns

Your PACT will contact the Traveling Veteran Coordinator, who will assist in coordinating your care at the alternate facility.

For more information, contact your PACT or Traveling Veteran Coordinator at your local VA facility.

To download an 8x10 poster, click here.
click here for a 2-sided brochure.
Frequently Asked Questions are posted here.

Urgent and After-Hours Care

If you need non-emergency care, call the after-hours telephone advice care line to get advice about your health concerns. The advice line is staffed by registered nurses who will discuss your medical concerns and work with you to determine the care you need. The registered nurse will document the telephone call in your electronic medical record and notify the appropriate medical provider.

What if I Require a Hospital Admission?

Your VA provider will make appropriate arrangements to admit you to the nearest VA hospital that is adequately equipped and staffed to furnish the care you need. Depending on your eligibility and other factors, VA may admit you to a non-VA hospital.

Emergency Care

What if I think I am having a medical emergency?

Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. You do not have to contact VA in advance.

What is a medical emergency?

A medical emergency is generally defined as a condition that would cause a prudent layperson (a person who possesses an average knowledge of health and medicine) to reasonably expect that a delay in seeking immediate medical attention would be hazardous to life or health.

Non-VA Facilities

You should go to the nearest emergency room whether in a VA or private facility If you are in an ambulance, the paramedics will usually take you to the closest emergency room.

If the doctor wants to admit me to the non-VA hospital, must I obtain approval from VA?

  • If the admission is for a medical emergency – NO
  • If the admission is not for a medical emergency - YES . You, a friend, a family member, or someone from the non-VA hospital should call the closest VA medical center and speak to the patient transfer or patient administration representative within 72 hours of your arrival at the emergency room . You will be offered a transfer to VA if a VA bed is available and you can be safely transferred.

Does my enrollment in the VA Health Care System change my coverage for emergency care?

It might. Call your local VA facility’s Enrollment Coordinator to find out what your options are.

Does my other insurance (TRICARE, Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross, etc.) change my VA coverage for emergency services?

It might. Call your local VA facility’s Enrollment Coordinator to find out what your options are.

Veterans Health Care Coverage and Medicare

Enrolled Veterans receive VA’s comprehensive medical benefits package. VA can provide care for all your health care needs. Click here (you will be routed to the AARP Website) for information about VA health care enrollment and Medicare coverage.

Q. I have good medical coverage from the Veterans Affairs health program. Do I need to enroll in Medicare as well when I turn 65?

A. Click here (you will be routed to the AARP Website).