Veterans' (VA) Benefits
Veterans and Military Personnel Health Insurance Options
Veteran's (VA) Benefits
In October 1996, Congress passed the Veterans' Health Care Eligibility Reform Act of 1996. This legislation paved the way for the creation of a Medical Benefits Package—a standard enhanced health benefits plan available to all enrolled veterans. Like other standard health care plans, the Medical Benefits Package emphasizes preventive and primary care, offering a full range of outpatient and inpatient services. The primary factor in determining a veteran's eligibility to receive Veterans' Administration (VA) health care benefits is "veteran status." To find out if you qualify, contact the Bureau of Veteran's Affairs at 877-222-VETS (877-222-8387). Once you apply for enrollment, your eligibility will be verified. Based on your specific eligibility status, you will be assigned a priority group ranging from 1-8, with 1 being the highest priority for enrollment. Under the Medical Benefits Package, the same services are generally available to all enrolled veterans. You can apply for VA health care by completing an application with the VA. These forms may be obtained by visiting, calling or writing any VA health care facility or veterans' benefits office. You can also call toll-free 877-222-VETS (222-8387) or access the online application at www.1010ez.med.va.gov/sec/vha/1010ez/.
TRICARE is a regionally managed health care program for active duty service members, National Guard and Reserve members, retirees, their families, and survivors. TRICARE combines the health care resources of the Army, Navy and Air Force and supplements them with civilian health care networks. There are different health plan options available to TRICARE-eligible individuals and benefits and out-of-pocket costs for health care services may vary under each of the program options. To view a list of all available plans and eligibility criteria, please visit www.tricare.mil. Specific covered services for people with diabetes are described here.
Vietnam veterans with type 2 diabetes who were presumed to be exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides are eligible for disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In 2000, the VA added type 2 diabetes to the list of "presumptive diseases associated with herbicide exposure." That action followed a report from the National Academy of Sciences that found "limited/suggestive" evidence of an association between the chemicals used in herbicides during the Vietnam War, such as Agent Orange, and type 2 diabetes. For more information on disability compensation, please call 1-800-827-1000. Vietnam veterans who are interested in participating in the VA’s Agent Orange Registry Program, which includes an examination and may include medical treatment for Agent Orange-related illnesses, should call 1-800-749-8387 for more information or contact the nearest VA medical center for an examination (www.va.gov).
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