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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.

Veterans Health Coverage


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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates over 1,700 hospitals and out-patient clinics which can be an excellent source of low-cost or free medical care for veterans as well as certain dependents and survivors of veterans. Surveys generally show that the system has a higher customer satisfaction rating than the private sector, as well as a higher quality of care and lower mortality rates.

To be eligible for medical benefits, a veteran's medical condition must be:

  • Service related OR 
  • If the medical condition is not service related, the veteran must meet income and asset requirements for free care.

If eligible for both VA and Tricare, veterans are allowed to use both. Likewise, veterans aged 65 years or older are eligible for Medicare and can enroll in both..

Veterans are required to enroll before seeking treatment. (Enrollment is not required prior to receiving service-connected treatment.)

  • The VA health plan covers a wide range of treatments.
  • Health care is provided on a priority list due to limited funding.
  • The VA drug benefit is the cheapest way to purchase drugs.
  • There is no premium charged for VA health care. Only a deductible and co-pays.
  • VA health coverage coordinates with private health insurance and Medicare.
  • Travel for VA care may be reimbursed, or provided by the Disabled American Veterans ( offsite link)

Incarcerated veterans are eligible for VA medical care at VA hospitals and clinics.

Active duty, guard and reserve members, and retirees, as well as their families, are eligible for TRICARE (formerly known as CHAMPUS), basically supplemental health insurance. Family members who are not eligible for Tricare may be eligible for a similar program: Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs, known as CHAMPVA.


  • If emergency care is needed, all emergency rooms must treat emergency situations without regard to ability to pay. (To learn how to maximize time in an emergency room, click here.) 
  • If the VA is not able to provide the care you need, see: Uninsured: How To Obtain The Medical Care You Need
  • Also keep in mind that all federally funded hospitals must provide a certain amount of free or low cost care because of the Hill-Burton Act. For information, including questions to ask, click hereIn addition, there may be funds available from private donations to pay for care. Ask the finance department of the hospitals in your local or nearby areas.

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Health Insurance: Tricare

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