Tip of the Week: VA Healthcare Options for Transitioning Veterans

Hey everyone, Derek Merkler here with your next Tip of the Week discussing VA healthcare options after separation.

This episode is for a specific subset of Veterans: those who were discharged without any VA healthcare benefits related to retirement, medical retirement, or disability benefits. Typically, these are healthy Veterans who served one or two terms without suffering significant injuries, mental or physical. If you fall into this category, you may think that VA healthcare is not available to you. However, there are two important situations in which it would be available.  The first is if you are a combat veteran.  If so, you have automatic access to the VA healthcare system under priority group 6 for 5 years following your discharge date.  This option is available without monthly premiums and minimal copays.

The second category is for low-income Veterans, which fall into priority groups 7 & 8.  Access under these priority groups is often available to Veterans who delay employment in favor of continued education or, perhaps, take a gap year funded by their savings.  There is no time limit on access to Priority Groups 7 and 8 because the qualification criteria are based on income.

For more information on these categories, please go to the veterans affairs website.

One quick but important thing to remember is that VA healthcare is similar to a health maintenance organization in that it will not pay for any treatments that occur outside of VA facilities without a VA referral.  The only exception is for life-threatening injuries.  For example, if you dislocate your shoulder and go to the nearest emergency room and it is not a VA facility, you’ll probably be on the hook for the full cost of those services.

Lastly, remember that these options are for the veteran only… and not for family members.As always, if you have questions on this or any other financial topic, or if you want to work with me to develop your financial plan, send me a message using the info posted in the credits.  Until next time!


Priority Group Info: https://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/resources/publications/hbco/hbco_enrollment_eligibility.asp

FAQ Explaining Treatment at non-VA facilities: https://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/resources/publications/hbco/hbco_faq.asp


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Remember, the topics discussed in this video are for informational purposes only and that past results do not guarantee future performance. If you would like to discuss your financial situation, please email me at Derek.Merkler@Parsonex.com. 

Advisory services offered through Parsonex Advisory Services, Inc., 8310 S.Valley Hwy, Suite 110, Englewood, CO 80112. 303-662-8700.

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