The range of health issues facing America's veterans is both wide and ever-evolving. The American Legion recognizes this and provides valuable health-care information on a variety of conditions, as well as regularly updated information on the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Many veterans have questions about whether the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will impact the health care they or their families receive, or whether they have to take any steps to insure that care continues.
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care meets the ACA’s standards for health-care coverage; veterans don’t need to do anything else regarding their health-care coverage. Veterans using VA can purchase additional health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, but because they already are enrolled in VA, they will not receive assistance with health insurance premiums on a purchased plan.
Veterans’ family members, who already receive health care through their employers, TRICARE or through Department of Veterans Affairs’ programs such as Civilian Health and Medical Program, do not have to take any additional steps to meet the health-care law’s coverage standards. And family members who receive TRICARE benefits – at no cost, through an enrollment fee or by paying monthly premiums – have the minimum essential coverage required by the ACA.
But veterans’ family members who don’t have health-care coverage that meets the ACA’s standards can use the Health Insurance Marketplace to find additional options to meet the requirements. Veterans’ family members can submit an application for health-care coverage through the Marketplace and find out the amount of assistance for which they may be eligible. They may pay less for monthly premiums or out-of-pocket costs, or they may be eligible for free or lower-cost coverage via the Children’s Health Insurance Program or Medicaid.
Family members of veterans enrolled in VA also may be eligible for tax credits in the Marketplace.
For more information about how the Affordable Care Act may impact veterans and their families, click here or call (877) 222-8387 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. EDT and Saturdays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
For more information about the Health Insurance Marketplace, click here or call (800) 318-2596.