Medical Benefits Package
Your comprehensive VA Health Benefits includes all the necessary inpatient hospital care and outpatient services to promote, preserve, or restore your health. VHA medical facilities provide a wide range of services including traditional hospital-based services such as surgery, critical care, mental health, orthopedics, pharmacy, radiology and physical therapy.
In addition, most of our medical facilities offer additional medical and surgical specialty services including audiology & speech pathology, dermatology, dental, geriatrics, neurology, oncology, podiatry, prosthetics, urology, and vision care. Some medical centers also offer advanced services such as organ transplants and plastic surgery.
Health Benefits Are Different for Each Veteran
While all enrolled Veterans enjoy access to VA’s comprehensive medical benefits package, certain benefits (for example, dental care) may vary from individual to individual, depending on each Veteran’s unique eligibility status. This Veterans Health Benefits Guide contains general benefits information.
This includes treating illnesses and injuries, preventing future health problems, improving functional abilities and enhancing quality of life. We provide a full spectrum of medically necessary services, based on the judgment of your VA primary care provider and in accordance with generally accepted standards of clinical practice. These services include:
Preventive Care Services
Health benefits include important preventive care services:
- Periodic medical exams (including gender-specific exams)
- Health education, including nutrition education
- Immunization against infectious disease
- Counseling on inheritance of genetically determined disease
Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
You receive health promotion and disease prevention services from your primary care providers. These services include immunizations to prevent disease, screening tests to detect disease at an early stage, and behavioral counseling to avoid or reduce risk factors for disease. You may also participate in health education programs to help you develop healthy living skills and manage your health problems.
Inpatient Care Services
VA inpatient care includes a full spectrum of treatment services:
- Mental Health Care
- Acute care
Inpatient care also includes access to VA’s specialized care units:
- Intensive Care Units (medical, surgical, mental health, cardiac)
- Transplant Services
- Spinal Cord Injury Centers
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- PolyTrauma Centers
VA's health care providers may employ ancillary services to help diagnose or treat medical conditions.
Specialty Care Services
Through VA’s specialty care services, there is access to expert knowledge that optimizes treatment in unique or complicated courses of care. Our specialty care providers focus on particular areas of care.
A medical emergency is generally defined as a condition of such a nature that a prudent layperson would reasonably expect that delay in seeking immediate medical attention would be hazardous to life or health.
You may receive emergency care at a non-VA health care facility at VA expense when a VA facility (or other Federal health care facility with which VA has an agreement)
Mental Health Care
VA provides specialty inpatient and outpatient mental health services at its medical centers and community-based outpatient clinics (in addition, readjustment counseling services may be available at Vet Centers across the nation). Our goal is to support recovery and enable Veterans who experience mental health problems to live meaningful lives in their communities and to achieve their full potential.
VA provides cost-free (no VA copayments) military sexual trauma counseling and referral. This includes appropriate care and services to overcome psychological trauma resulting from a physical assault or battery of a sexual nature or from sexual harassment that occurred while the Veteran was on active duty or was on Active Duty for Training (ADUTRA).
Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Veterans:
LGBT Veterans are eligible for the same VA benefits as any other Veteran and will be treated in a welcoming environment. Transgender Veterans will be treated based upon their self-identified gender, including room assignments in residential and inpatient settings. Same-Sex Couples: VA launched a new website to inform Veterans and beneficiaries of the recent changes in the law and procedures involving same-sex marriages. Veterans can learn more about VA’s guidance regarding same-sex marriages at www.va.gov/opa/marriage.
Additional VA Health Care Services:
Non-Medical Veteran Services
VA offers a number of services to Veterans to maximize their access to VA health care:
- Beneficiary Travel
- My HealtheVet
- Rural Health
- Transplant Services
- VA Point of Service (VPS)
- Veterans Canteen Service
- Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC)
- Veteran Transportation Services
Medical Benefits Package Exclusions
The following health care services are not included in your VA Medical Benefits Package:
- Abortions and abortion counseling.
- Cosmetic surgery, except where determined by VA to be medically necessary.
- Gender alteration.
- Health club or spa membership.
- In-vitro fertilization.
- Drugs, biological, and medical devices not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, unless part of formal clinical trial under an approved research program or when prescribed under a compassionate use exemption.
- Inpatient hospital or outpatient care for a Veteran who is either a patient or inmate in an institution of another government agency, if that agency has a legal obligation to provide the care or services.