Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Benefit Program

Army National Guard: Federal Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet



The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a Medical Benefits Package, a standard enhanced health benefits plan available to all enrolled Veterans. This plan emphasizes preventive and primary care, and offers a full range of outpatient and inpatient services within the VA health care system.

There is no monthly premium required to use VA care, however Veterans may have to agree to pay copayments. If a Veteran has health insurance, it may cover the cost of co pays. VA will provide combat Veterans free medical care for any illness possibly associated with service during a period of hostility for five years from the Veteran's release from active duty.


All Veterans are Potentially Eligible. Eligibility for most Veterans' health care benefits is based solely on active military service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard (or Merchant Marines during WW II), and a discharge under other than dishonorable conditions. Reservists and National Guard Soldiers who were called to active duty (other than for training only) by a Federal Executive Order may qualify for VA health care benefits. Retiring Soldiers, including Army Reserve and Army National Guard Soldiers who served on active duty in a theater of combat operations have special eligibility for hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care for five years following discharge from active duty.

Benefit Highlights:

Medical Benefits Package - Standard Benefits. VA's medical benefits package provides the following health care services to all enrolled Veterans, and offers a full range of outpatient and inpatient services within VA health care system, including:

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)

Long-Term Care Standard Benefits

  • VA Community Living Centers (VA Nursing Home) Programs

  • Domiciliary Care

  • Medical Foster Home

  • State Veterans Homes

  • Additional Services

    • Geriatric Evaluation

    • Geriatrics and Extended Care

    • Adult Day Health Care

    • Respite Care

    • Home Health Care

    • Home Telehealth

    • Hospice/Palliative Care

Enrollment. Veterans can apply for enrollment in the VA health care system by completing VA Form 10-10EZ, Application for Health Benefits. The application form can be obtained by visiting, calling, or writing any VA health care facility or Veterans' benefits office. Forms can also be requested toll-free from VA's Health Benefits Service Center at 1-877-222-VETS (8387). Completed applications must be signed and dated and may be returned in person or by mail to any VA health care facility. If the Veteran applies in person at a VA health care facility, VA staff will assign an initial priority group. After the application is processed, the VA Health Eligibility Center in Atlanta will confirm the enrollment status and priority group and will notify the Veteran of his or her enrollment status. Based on his/her specific eligibility status, he/she will be assigned to one of the following priority groups. The groups range from 1 through 8 with Priority Group 1 being the highest priority and Priority Group 8 the lowest.

Benefits on the Go. VA enrollment allows health care benefits to become portable throughout the entire VA system. Enrolled Veterans who are traveling or who spend time away from their primary treatment facility may obtain care at any VA health care facility across the country without the worry of having to reapply.

Financial Assessment (Means Testing). While many Veterans qualify for enrollment and cost-free health care services based on a compensable service-connected condition or other qualifying factors, certain Veterans will be asked to complete a financial assessment at the time of enrollment to determine their eligibility for cost-free medical care, medications and/or travel benefits. The assessment is based on the Veteran's, (Spouse and dependents, if any) previous year gross household income. This financial information may also be used to determine the Veteran's enrollment priority group. Higher-income Veterans (Veterans whose income exceeds established national income limits) that are treated for nonservice-connected conditions may be required to share in the expense of their care by paying copayments.

Note: Unreimbursed medical expenses (what you paid out of pocket after medical insurance pays) may be deducted from your total gross household income. Unreimbursed medical expenses include: travel expenses, cost of a long term care institution or assisted living, health related insurance premiums (including Medicare premiums), diabetic supplies, private caregivers, incontinence supplies, prescriptions and dialysis not covered by any other health plan. Only the portion of the unreimbursed medical expenses that exceed 5% of the basic pension may be deducted (see Medical Expense Deductible).

Once enrolled, VA will automatically match income information obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) to confirm the Veteran's continued health care eligibility. VA will send Veterans a letter only when clarification is needed regarding the financial information obtained. For more information, visit, call VA's toll-free number at 1-877-222-VETS (8387) or contact the Enrollment Coordinator at your local medical facility.

Foreign Medical Program (FMP)

The Foreign Medical Program (FMP) is a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care benefits program for U.S. Veterans who are residing or traveling abroad and have VA-rated, service-connected disabilities. Under FMP, VA assumes payment responsibility for certain necessary health care services received in foreign countries and associated with the treatment of service-connected disabilities, or any disability associated with and held to be aggravating a service-connected condition. (FMP administers all aspects of the program in Canada, except claims for service-connected care are filed with the Foreign Countries Operations in Canada.) Additionally, VA may authorize necessary foreign medical services for any condition for a Veteran participating in the VA Vocational Rehabilitation Program.
Eligibility: The eligibility requirements for medical services for Veterans outside the United States are different from those for Veterans within the United States. VA may authorize foreign medical services for Veterans only for a VA-rated, service-connected disability, or any disability that is associated with and held to be aggravating a VA-rated service-connected disability. This means that disability percentages have no bearing when determining eligibility for foreign medical services.

Additional Information:

For more information, please visit the official Veterans Affairs Medical Benefits webpage maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs:

VA Health Benefits Handbook:

Health Care Benefits Overview:

For more information on the Foreign Medical Program (FMP), please visit:

Foreign Medical Program (FMP) Brochure:

Foreign Medical Program (FMP) Handbook:

Document Review Date: 10 April 2015