Military members, veterans and their families are eligible for a number of healthcare plans and benefits that are not open to the general public — many of which can help save you money while keeping you and your family safe and healthy. Here are a few healthcare benefits available exclusively to military families.
TRICARE is a health program for Uniformed Service members and their families, National Guard/Reserve members and their families, survivors, former spouses, Medal of Honor recipients and their families, and others registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Benefits and plans vary depending on the beneficiary category.
There are several coverage options, with the default being TRICARE Prime. With this plan, you are assigned a primary care manager who provides most of your care. Active duty service members and their families typically pay nothing out-of-pocket with this plan. The TRICARE Select plan gives you more freedom in choosing your providers, but there may be more out-of-pocket costs.
Veterans Health Care Program
Veterans qualify for health coverage through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. According to the VA, each veteran’s medical benefits package is unique but all coverage includes the treatment of illnesses and injuries and preventive care. Some veterans qualify for added benefits such as dental care.
To be eligible for health benefits through the VA, you must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which you were called to active duty, unless you were discharged for a disability, hardship or “early out,” or you served prior to Sept. 7, 1980.
You can apply for healthcare coverage through the VA online, by phone, by mail, in person or with the help of a trained professional.
Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs
The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs, also known as CHAMPVA, is a comprehensive healthcare program in which the VA shares the cost of covered healthcare services and supplies with beneficiaries. It covers most healthcare services and supplies that are medically and psychologically necessary and includes pharmacy benefits as well.
CHAMPVA provides coverage to the spouse or widow(er) and the children of a veteran who is permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related disability, died as a result of a service-connected disability or died while in active duty.
You can apply for CHAMPVA benefits online or by phone.
Spina Bifida Health Care Benefits Program
The Spina Bifida Health Care Benefits Program (SBHCBP) provides benefits to certain Korean and Vietnam veterans’ birth children who have been diagnosed with spina bifida. The program provides these beneficiaries with monetary allowances, vocational training and rehabilitation. The coverage also includes pharmacy benefits.
To qualify, you must be diagnosed with spina bifida. To apply, contact the Denver VA Regional Office for detailed application information.
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