Making the Transition to VA Health Care

Medical care: it's one of your most important benefits. During your service to our nation, the military has met your healthcare needs. In fact, you probably haven't had to give healthcare a second thought. As you prepare to transition to the next phase of your life, give yourself the gift of wellbeing. The Department of Veterans Affairs, your VA, will continue to be there, much like it has since 1930, providing America's veteran's with first-class healthcare services. VA operates the largest healthcare system in the country, with more than 1400 medical centers and clinics across the nation. Not only is VA healthcare ranked among the country's healthcare elite, but the care is portable, so the coverage stays with you if you travel or relocate. VA offers comprehensive health services, from health assessments to surgical procedures. In addition to traditional care, we provide care unique to veterans, such as PTSD, TBI, military sexual trauma, and environmental exposures. VA also focuses on taking care of the growing women veterans population, and helping veterans in crisis, or who are homeless. Veterans who served in the theater of operations, also known as combat veterans, in such operational areas as Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn, receive cost-free medical care for any condition related to their service in the theater of operations for five years after the date of their most recent discharge or release. When the five-year period ends, VA care and treatment will continue, although some veterans, depending on eligibility status, may be responsible for co-pays based on income. Free, confidential counseling services are available to combat veterans at community-based centers called Vet Centers, located across the US and surrounding territories. VA offers free dental benefits for the one-time evaluation and treatment for veterans who served more than 90 days of continued service, and whose DD214 certificate of release or discharge from active duty indicates they did not receive dental treatment at least 90 days prior to their separation. You must apply for this dental care within 180 days, six months, of separation from active duty service. VA also offers a comprehensive pharmacy service, including the option of having prescription refills ordered online and sent directly to you. You are encouraged to register with My HealtheVet, located at This secure website allows viewing of VA healthcare records 24/7, exchanging messages with VA healthcare providers, receiving wellness reminders, viewing appointments and lab results, and much more. VA's health benefits website is a one-stop shop for VA healthcare information. Located at, the site gives you a chance to explore VA healthcare services, find a medical facility near you, determine the cost of care, and apply for care. This site also provides VA healthcare news, calculators to help you determine eligibility or co-pays, and much more. To receive VA healthcare, you must first apply for enrollment. Applying is easy, and is the first step in ensuring access to first-class medical care. You can apply online at, over the phone by calling 1-877-222-VETS, or in person at any VA Healthcare Center. And the best part? Once enrolled, always enrolled. VA health benefits enrollment will not impact your other healthcare coverage options, such as Tricare or private insurance. VA health benefits can serve as your sole source of healthcare, or as a compliment to other plans. Transitioning from military is always a stressful time. Ease that transition by securing wellness for life. As a veteran, you served our nation. Now, VA healthcare is here to serve you. (end)

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