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Health Benefits

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Medical Benefits Package

Your comprehensive VA Health Benefits package includes all the necessary inpatient hospital care and outpatient services to promote, preserve or restore your health.  VA medical facilities provide a wide range of services, including traditional hospital-based services such as surgery, critical care, mental health, orthopedics, pharmacy, radiology and physical therapy.

In addition, most of our medical facilities offer additional medical and surgical specialty services, including audiology and speech pathology, dermatology, dental, geriatrics, neurology, oncology, podiatry, prosthetics, urology and vision care.  Some medical centers also offer advanced services, such as organ transplants and plastic surgery.

Preventive Care Services

  • Immunizations
  • Physical Examinations (including eye and hearing examinations)
  • Health Care Assessments
  • Screening Tests
  • Health Education Programs

Ambulatory (Outpatient) Diagnostic and Treatment Services

  • Primary and Specialty Care
  • Surgical (including reconstructive/plastic surgery as a result of disease or trauma)
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Abuse

Hospital (Inpatient) Diagnostic and Treatment Services

  • Medical
  • Surgical (including reconstructive/plastic surgery as a result of disease or trauma)
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Abuse
  • Prescription Drugs (when prescribed by a VA physician)

Meeting Women Veterans' Unique Needs

Our staff delivers the highest quality health care in a setting that ensures privacy, dignity, and sensitivity. Your local VA facility offers a variety of services, including:

  • Women’s gender-specific health
  • Screening and disease prevention
  • Routine gynecologic services

Female Veterans are potentially eligible to receive care provided in the community when authorized by VA; however, the decision to use such care is left to the facility providing your care.  By law, purchased care can only be provided when your treating facility cannot provide you the care you require or because of geographical inaccessibility.

Contact your local VA facility’s Women Veterans Program Manager for more information on available services, or call 1-855-VA-WOMEN (1-855-829-6636).

Available Long-Term Care Services

The following is a list of standard benefits. For more information on Extended Care Services and Geriatrics, visit

VA Community Living Centers (VA Nursing Home) Programs

While some Veterans qualify for indefinite Community Living Center (formerly known as nursing home care) services, other Veterans may qualify for a limited period of time.

Domiciliary Care

Domiciliary care provides rehabilitative and long-term health maintenance care for Veterans who require some medical care but do not require all the services provided in nursing homes.  Domiciliary care emphasizes rehabilitation and a return to the community.

Medical Foster Home

Medical Foster Homes are private homes in which a trained caregiver provides services to a few individuals.  Some, but not all, residents are Veterans.  VA inspects and approves all Medical Foster Homes.  Contact your VA social worker or case manager for more information on Medical Foster Home care.

State Veterans Homes

State Veterans Homes are facilities that provide nursing home, domiciliary or adult day care.  Each state establishes eligibility and admission criteria for its homes.  For more information about your State Veterans Home, contact the Veterans home directly or Social Work Service at your local VA facility.

Additional Services

Geriatric Evaluation

Geriatric evaluation is the comprehensive assessment of a Veteran’s ability to care for him/herself, his/her physical health and social environment, which leads to a plan of care.  The plan could include treatment, rehabilitation, health promotion and social services.  These evaluations are performed by inpatient Geriatric Evaluation and Management (GEM) units, GEM clinics, geriatric primary care clinics and other outpatient settings.

Geriatrics and Extended Care

Geriatrics and Extended Care provides services for Veterans who are elderly and have complex needs, as well as Veterans of any age who need daily support and assistance.  Veterans can receive care at home, at VA medical centers or in the community.

Adult Day Health Care

Adult Day Health Care is a program Veterans can go to during the day for social activities, peer support, companionship and recreation.  The program is for Veterans who need skilled services, case management and help with activities of daily living (such as bathing, getting dressed and preparing meals).  Adult Day Health Care can provide respite care for a family caregiver and can help Veterans and their caregivers gain skills to manage the Veterans’ care at home.

Respite Care

Respite Care is a service that pays for a person to come to a Veteran’s home or for the Veteran to be cared for in a care facility while his or her family caregiver takes a break.  Respite Care services may be available up to 30 days each calendar year.

Home Health Care

Home Health Care includes VA’s Skilled Home Health Care Services (SHHC), Homemaker and Home Health Aide Services (H/HHA) and Family Caregivers Program.  For more information on these programs, visit

SHHC is a short-term health care service that can be provided to Veterans if they are homebound or live far away from VA.  The care is delivered by a community-based home health agency that has a contract with VA.  The services of an H/HHA can help Veterans remain living in their own home and can serve Veterans of any age.

VA’s Family Caregivers Program provides support and assistance to caregivers of Post-9/11 Veterans and Servicemembers who are being medically discharged.  Eligible primary family caregivers can receive a stipend, training, mental health services, travel and lodging reimbursement and access to health insurance if they are not already under a health care plan.  For more information, contact your local VA medical facility and speak with a caregiver support coordinator, visit call toll-free at 1-877-222- VETS (8387) Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET.

Home Telehealth

VA’s Home Telehealth, also known as Care Coordination/Home Telehealth, allows the Veteran’s physician or nurse to monitor the Veteran’s medical condition remotely using monitoring equipment.  Veterans can be referred to a care coordinator for Home Telehealth services by any member of their care team.  The Home Telehealth program aims to make the patient’s home the preferred place to receive care, whenever possible.

Hospice/Palliative Care

Hospice/palliative care is comfort-based care for Veterans who have a terminal condition with six months or less to live.  Hospice care provides treatment that relieves suffering and helps to control symptoms in a way that respects your personal, cultural and religious beliefs and practices. Hospice also provides grief counseling to your family.

There are no copayments for hospice care provided in any setting.

Long-Term Care Services

Veterans who are not automatically exempt from making copayments for long-term care services (see “Medication Copayments ” on page 11) must complete VA Form 10-10EC, “Application for Extended Care Services,” to determine whether they qualify for cost-free services or to what extent they are required to make long- term care copayments.  Unlike copayments for other VA health care services, which are based on fixed charges, long-term care copayment charges are adjusted based on each Veteran’s financial status.

Benefits with Special Eligibility Criteria

While all enrolled Veterans enjoy access to VA’s comprehensive medical benefits package, certain benefits may vary depending on each Veteran’s unique eligibility status.  The following care services (partial listing) have limitations and may have special eligibility criteria:

  • Ambulance Services
  • Dental Care
  • Community Health Care Services

Hearing Aids and Eyeglasses

Hearing aids, contact lenses and eyeglasses may be provided to the following enrolled Veterans as authorized in 38 CFR, provided they receive VA care or services:

  • Veterans with any compensable, service-connected disability
  • Former Prisoners of War (POWs)
  • Veterans awarded a Purple Heart
  • Veterans in receipt of benefits under 38 USC 1151 (such as benefits for persons disabled by treatment or vocational rehabilitation)
  • Veterans in receipt of increased pension based on the need for aid and attendance benefits or by reason of being permanently housebound
  • Veterans who have a visual or hearing impairment resulting from the existence of another medical condition for which the Veteran is receiving VA care or which resulted from treatment of that medical condition
  • Veterans with significant functional or cognitive impairment evidenced by deficiencies in activities of daily living (not including normally occurring visual or hearing impairments)
  • Veterans with severe visual or hearing impairment and for whom hearing aids and/or eyeglasses are necessary to ensure their Veteran active participation in their own medical treatment
  • Veterans with a 0% service-connected hearing disability

Veterans Transportation Service

The Veterans Transportation Service (VTS) is designed to ensure that all qualifying Veterans have access to care through convenient, safe, and reliable transportation. VTS provides qualifying Veterans with free transportation services to and/or from participating VA medical centers (VAMCs) in a multi-passenger van.  This service ensures that all qualifying Veterans who do not have access to transportation options of their own due to financial, medical or other reasons, are able to travel to VA medical facilities or authorized community appointments to receive the care they have earned. Visit to see a list of VTS sites and points of contact in your area to assist you meet your transportation needs.