San Francisco VA Health Care System
ACA and the Benefits of VA Health Care
The Affordable Care Act, aka “the health care law,” was created to expand access to affordable health care coverage to all Americans, lower costs, and improve quality and care coordination.
Under ACA, people will either have health coverage that meets a minimum standard, or will qualify for an exemption, or will make a payment when filing their taxes if they have affordable options but remain uninsured.
Starting in 2014, Health Insurance Marketplace will be a new way to find health coverage. Using the Marketplace, some people will be eligible for lower costs on premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, based on their income.
At a glance:
- VA wants all Veterans to get health care that improves their health and well-being.
- If you are enrolled in VA health care, you don’t need to take any additional steps to meet the health care law coverage standards.
- The health care law does not change VA health benefits or Veterans’ out-of-pocket expenses.
- If you are not yet enrolled in VA health care, you can apply at any time.
If you are enrolled in a Veteran’s health care program, or civilian health and medical program (CHAMPVA), or spina bifida health care program, you have coverage under the standards of the health care law.
If you are not enrolled in a VA health care program you can apply for VA health care at any time by visiting www.va.gov/healthbenefits/enroll, or by calling (877) 222-VETS (8387). You can also stop by Member Services at the Medical Center (Bldg. 2, Ground Floor, Room 49) and speak to a staff member. At our VA Clinics, you can ask to speak to a Member Services representative.
Family members who are not enrolled in a VA health care program may use the Marketplace to get coverage. They may get lower costs on monthly premiums or out-of-pocket costs. They could be eligible for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Starting October 1, 2013, they can submit an application for health care coverage through the Marketplace, and learn the amount of assistance they are eligible for. For more information on the Marketplace, visit www.healthcare.gov.
What Are the Benefits of VA Health Care?
As an enrolled Veteran, you have:
- Medical care rated among the best in the United States.
- Immediate benefits of health care coverage.
- No enrollment fee, no monthly premiums, and no deductibles. Most Veterans have zero out-of-pocket costs. Some Veterans may have small copayments for health care or prescriptions.
- More than 1,400 places available to get your care, so your coverage goes with you if you travel or move.
- Freedom to use other plans with your VA health care, including Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, or private insurance.
- You have met the new requirements to have health coverage.
For more information about VA health care and the Affordable Care Act, visit VA’s website at www.va.gov/aca, or call (877) 222-VETS (8387).