What are VA Services?

After you served your country, it’s important to receive the best healthcare possible. Thankfully, the United States has one of the most comprehensive healthcare systems for veterans in the world. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers a wide range of benefits for veterans and their families. Here’s what you need to know about VA services and how they can help you!

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is the name given to the previously titled Veterans Administration. This name was changed in 1988 when it was advanced to a cabinet-level executive department. Despite its name change, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is still commonly referred to by its nickname, the VA.

The VA has three separate administrations including the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), the National Cemetery Administration (NCA), and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The aim of the department is to provide health care, benefits, and other supportive services to U.S. veterans and their families.

VA Health Services

The Department of Veterans Affairs provides complete healthcare services to eligible veterans. These are administered at outpatient clinics and medical centers. The VA includes non-healthcare benefits such as disability compensation, education assistance, vocational rehabilitation, life insurance, and home loans.

The VA also offers burial and memorial benefits for eligible veterans and their families. Many of these services are based on their mission statement, which spells out the acronym “I CARE.” These letters stand for integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect, and excellence. These help healthcare providers maintain a high standard of medical care for veterans.

Health Benefits Offered by the VA

Healthcare services provided by the VA include all necessary medical needs for U.S. veterans. The VA offers both inpatient hospital care and outpatient medical services. Their medical facilities provide all essential healthcare services such as surgery, orthopedics, critical care, mental health, radiology, pharmacy, and physical therapy.

While every medical benefits package will be personalized to individual veterans, any general plan will include preventative healthcare services. Specific packages may also cover added health benefits such as dental care. Each veteran’s benefits plan will depend on their medical condition(s), the advice of their VA primary care physician, and their priority group.

Veterans Benefits Administration

The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) is the portion of the VA that offers a wide range of benefits for eligible veterans and their families. This can include financial assistance for veterans, their dependents, and survivors. Some of their provided benefits include life insurance, education, disability compensation, vocational rehabilitation, and job placement assistance.

The VBA primarily oversees the home loan program, which assists veterans with purchasing a home with little to no down payment. This allows them to earn a competitive interest rate without private mortgage insurance. These are completely covered by the government and exclusive to the VA.

Other Included Benefits

The United States maintains a consistent reputation for having the most comprehensive assistance programs available for veterans. Thus, while preventative care services are one of the most commonly used benefits offered by the VA, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

For one thing, the VA offers crisis and PTSD management services for veterans living with mental health diagnoses. The VA also includes the Homeless Veterans Initiative, a service offered to prevent and support veterans living through homelessness. Compensation can also be provided to dependents and survivors of eligible veterans.

Costs of VA Care

Most healthcare services are completely free if they’re covered by the VA. Granted, this may depend on personal circumstances. For example, some veterans may need to provide a copay for any non-service-connected conditions. At the beginning of enrollment, most veterans need to complete a financial assessment to determine eligibility for free healthcare.

As another alternative, veterans may provide private healthcare insurance alongside their VA benefits to reduce or eliminate copays. However, it will never affect a veteran’s eligibility for VA medical services.

Where to Receive VA Care

As mentioned previously, veterans can receive comprehensive healthcare at various outpatient and inpatient medical facilities. More specifically, the VA healthcare system includes 1,298 healthcare facilities all across the country. 171 of these include medical centers while the other 1,113 consist of outpatient sites. These facilities can treat anything related to HIV, hepatitis, mental health, military exposures, rehabilitation, spinal cord injuries, women’s health, polytrauma, and telehealth.

Are you a veteran or a loved one of a former military service person? You may be eligible for unique benefits offered by the U.S. Department of Affairs! Our compassionate team at Arbors of Ohio is happy to work alongside your potential benefits to provide you with the best possible care. Contact us to learn more about the VA and how they can support your healthcare needs!

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