What Kind of Medical Assistance Is Available for Veterans?

The medical benefits package available to eligible and enrolled veterans includes preventive, primary and specialty care and diagnostic inpatient and outpatient care services. Dental care and other services are also provided to veterans who meet certain qualifications. Medical assistance may be available for veterans' family members, depending upon the veteran's status, and children of Vietnam and Korean War veterans who are diagnosed with spina bifida or other birth defects.

Eligibility for enrollment for health benefits is open to those who served in the active military and were released or discharged under any condition except dishonorable and meet certain minimum duty requirements. Minimum duty requirements for enrollment include 24 months of continuous service or completion of a full period of active duty for veterans who enlisted after September 1980 or entered active duty after October 1981. Only Reserve and National Guard members completing a full period of active duty are eligible for enrollment. Due to various exceptions to the minimum duty requirements, the U.S. Veterans Administration recommends that all veterans apply to determine their eligibility.

Once an application for enrollment is approved, a veteran is assigned to one of eight enrollment priority groups. The number of priority groups receiving benefits at any given time depends on the availability of federal funds.