Wondering what is covered under your plan?
Much like standard private healthcare plans, your Medical Benefits Package will offer inpatient and outpatient services including, but not limited to the following:
- Outpatient and inpatient mental, medical, or surgical care, including that for substance abuse
- Prescription drugs, over the counter drugs, medical supplies, or surgical supplies as prescribed by a VA physician
- Physical examinations
- Screening tests
- Healthcare assessments
- Health education programs
- Emergency care within VA facilities
- Dental care for those eligible
- Bereavement counseling
- Rehabilitative services
- Mental health services for immediate family or legal guardians of a veteran, as well as professional counseling, training, or consultation
- Medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotic devices, including hearing aids and eyeglasses
- Reconstructive surgery to repair the results of trauma or a disease, but excluding non-medical cosmetic surgery
- Respite care, palliative care, hospice
- Pregnancy services and delivery services within the confines of the law. This stipulated that VA medical centers can provide up to and including delivery services but not free services after delivery. Therefore, veterans must reimburse for services after birth.
What’s not covered:
- Abortions and abortion counseling
- Cosmetic surgery except where determined by the VA to be medically necessary for reconstructive or psychiatric care
- Drugs, biological, and medical devices not approved by the FDA unless the treating medical facility is conducting formal clinical trials
- Gender alteration
- Health club or spa membership
- In vitro fertilization
- Services not ordered and provided by licensed or accredited professionals
- Special private-duty nursing
- Hospital and outpatient care for a veteran who is a patient or inmate in an institution of another government agency if that agency is required to provide care or services
- Emergency care in non-VA facilities, except as explained in the section “Emergency care in non-VA facilities” later in this chapter
- Military sexual trauma counseling
You can receive counseling or treatment to help you overcome psychological trauma which results from sexual events taking place while on active duty. Such counseling can be found at VA vet centers and medical facilities. You will not be charged for services rendered for treatment of conditions related to sexual trauma in the military.
Veterans who are part of the VA healthcare program are given bereavement counseling as are their family members. Parents, spouses, and children of armed forces personnel who passed away in action are also given bereavement counseling. Family members of National Guardsmen and Reservists who die on duty are also offered these services. You can obtain said counseling at vet centers around the United States. You can find a list of these locations in Appendix D.
Assistance for Blind Veterans
There are blind services available for veterans. You can get these services at VA medical facilities which are listed in Appendix C. Aid and services for blind veterans include:
- A total health and benefits review by a VA visual impairment services team
- Adjustment-to-blindness training
- Home improvements and structural alterations to homes
- Specially adapted housing and adaptations
- Low-vision aids and training in their use
- Electronic and mechanical aids for the blind, including adaptive computers and computer-assisted devices such as reading machines and electronic travel aids
- Guide dogs, including the expense of training the veteran to use the dog and the cost of the dog’s medical care
- Talking books, tapes, and Braille literature
- Prosthetics and adaptive automobiles
If you are an enrolled Veteran receiving medical care you may also qualify for:
- Crutches and canes
- Orthopedic braces and shoes
- Prosthetic appliances
- Prosthetic equipment
- Artificial limbs
- Durable medical equipment
If you are in need of prosthetics due to a service-related disability or you were rated at 50% disabled by the VA you can get such items whether or not you are enrolled in a VA healthcare program.
You may receive adaptive automobile assistance from the VA if you have any of the following:
- A service-connected loss or permanent loss of use of one or both hands or feet
- A permanent impairment of vision of both eyes to a certain degree
- Entitlement to VA disability compensation for ankylosis (immobility) of one or both knees or one or both hips
The VA will give you a onetime payment of up to $11,000 to buy a vehicle. They will also pay for adaptive equipment and the repair, replacement, or reinstallation of such equipment due to a disability.
Understanding Your VA Dental Care
VA dental care may or may not be something you want to smile about, depending on your situation. It’s not available to all veterans enrolled in the VA healthcare system.
The VA provides necessary dental treatment for veterans who were not able to receive a dental examination and treatment within 90 days of discharge or separation from military service. Different criteria apply for treatment of veterans who have dental disabilities resulting from either combat wounds or service-related injuries.