Healthcare Options for America's Veterans

Katie Ocampo, New York Legal Assistance Group, New York, NY

Veterans have choices when it comes to their healthcare.  Many assume that all veterans receive their care through the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) hospitals and clinics, but less than half of the country’s approximately 22 million veterans receive VA healthcare.1  To be sure, approximately nine million are enrolled in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) ­­­-- it is the nation’s largest integrated health system.2  But eligibility, breadth of VA coverage, and copayment rates depend on a number of factors, including a veteran’s income, whether the veteran has service-connected disabilities, and whether he or she is a former Prisoner of War.  Taking these factors into consideration will help a veteran determine where best to go for healthcare.

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