Veterans rated 50% or greater disabled due to service-connected conditions qualify for free VA health care, while other veterans must pay a copay. There may be ways you can minimize how much of a copay you owe; read on to discover who qualifies and how.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides all enrolled Veterans with access to an extensive medical benefits package that includes preventive, primary and specialty care as well as diagnostic, inpatient and outpatient hospital services and prescription drugs covered under its national formulary system. Furthermore, mental and physical rehabilitation programs are also offered through VA.

Veteran who are eligible for health care from the Veterans Administration must register to receive their benefits. Enrollment ensures that accurate and complete records exist at VA medical facilities and clinics so they can deliver quality healthcare services. Veterans can apply for enrollment at any VA facility – either personally, over the phone, using an online application available on VA website, or downloading form 10-10EZ available here and printing it off from there; either one must complete this application personally or have someone with power of attorney sign and submit it on behalf of veteran.

Veterans applying for VA benefits may be asked to complete a financial assessment as part of their application; this assessment will help determine their eligibility for certain benefits, such as priority groups and copayment responsibilities. In cases involving lower income veterans, however, this requirement is waived in order to make eligibility determination simpler and copayment obligations more easily determined by the VA.

Veteran must reapply annually in order to remain eligible for VA benefits, with the VA sometimes contacting them and asking them for additional paperwork to verify eligibility. How long it takes depends on the complexity of their case as well as any supporting documents the VA requests from them.

If the VA determines that an eligible veteran does not meet eligibility requirements, they will be given 60 days notice so they may submit more proof or enroll with another private provider for health care services.

Some veterans not eligible to enroll in the VA health care system may be eligible to access medical care under TRICARE, run by the Department of Defense. Spouses, dependent children and some family members of an active-duty, retired or deceased service member or Veterans receiving pension or disability compensation from the VA are also eligible for health coverage under TRICARE. This article provides an overall view of who qualifies for free VA health care; however, each Veteran has different requirements that need to be taken into consideration when qualifying. A trained VA representative known as an accredited representative can work with you to assess eligibility for specific health benefits as well as complete and collect necessary forms and documentation.