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Coverage Under The Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as the health care law, was created to expand access to coverage, control health care costs and improve health care quality and care coordination.  The health care law does not change VA health benefits or Veterans’ out-of-pocket costs.

Three things you should know:

  1. VA wants all Veterans to receive health care that improves their health and well-being.
  2. If you are enrolled in any of these VA programs, you have coverage under the standards of the health care law:
    • Veteran’s health care program
    • Spina Bifida Health Care Benefits Program
  3. If you are not enrolled in VA health care, you can apply at any time.

Veterans and family members who are not eligible for VA health care and who do not have employer- provided health insurance should use the Marketplace to get health coverage by going to  To find in-person assistance nearby to help you apply, pick a plan and enroll for free, go to call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Note:U.S. taxpayers will need to declare if they have health coverage on their federal tax forms.  In 2016, VA began notifying enrolled Veterans via mail of their period of health care coverage during the previous calendar year.  This law also requires VA to provide notification to the Internal Revenue Service.  For more information about ACA and VA health care, visit VA’s website at call 1-877-222- VETS (8387) Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET.

Tax Credit

If you are enrolled with VA for your health care, your enrollment meets the standard for minimum essential health care coverage under ACA.  You are not eligible for assistance to lower your cost of health insurance premiums if you chose to purchase additional health insurance on the Marketplace to complement your VA health care coverage.  Also, you cannot receive a tax credit for yourself when enrolling within the Marketplace if you are currently enrolled with VA for your health care.