Enrollment in the VA health care system provides veterans with the promise that comprehensive health care services will be available when and where they are needed, and more than 42,000 veterans currently receive these benefits at the VA Central Ohio Health Care System. However, many Central Ohio veterans have yet to enroll.
The VA Central Ohio Health Care System offers primary care and specialty care, including cardiology, oncology, behavioral health, urology, audiology, and optometry, as well as many same-day surgeries. Veterans can also receive evidence-based treatment for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), spinal cord injuries, diabetes, and dermatological issues.
The VA Central Ohio Health Care System is committed to supporting the whole health of each veteran, offering wellness coaching, nutrition classes, weight loss programs, recovery services, job coaching, chaplaincy, and many creative arts programs. Enrolled veterans also have free access to medically necessary equipment when prescribed by a provider; such as wheelchairs, walkers, and braces. And, the VA Central Ohio Health Care System has a large ambulatory care center in Columbus and four VA clinics in Zanesville, Newark, Grove City, and Marion.
Additionally, the VA Central Ohio Health Care System supports veterans throughout their whole life. The Transition Care Management Clinic offers care and support to veterans that have recently returned from deployment. And as veterans age, the VA provides a full range of geriatrics services designed to support veterans remaining safely in their home. Finally, for veterans experiencing life-limiting illnesses, the VA has an interdisciplinary palliative care team focusing on symptom management and quality of care and provides a free hospice benefit through community partners as well.
Who can enroll?
Eligibility requirements for the VA are set by Congress and can be confusing. Interested veterans are encouraged to enroll. But if you’re not eligible, contact the VA Central Ohio Health Care System enrollment team to see if any special eligibilities or circumstances may exist which would allow for enrollment.
Generally, if you served in the active military, naval, or air service and are separated under any condition other than dishonorable, you may qualify for VA health care benefits. Current and former members of the Reserves or National Guard who were called to active duty (other than for training only) by a federal order and completed the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty may also be eligible for VA health care.
Most veterans who enlisted after September 7, 1980, or entered active duty after October 16, 1981, must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which they were called to active duty to be eligible. This minimum duty requirement may not apply to veterans who were discharged for a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, were released for a hardship or received an “early out.” Since there are many other exceptions to the minimum duty requirements, VA encourages all veterans to determine their enrollment eligibility.
Still not sure if you qualify? Use the online VA Health Benefits Explorer at hbexplorer.vacloud.us to answer a few questions about yourself and learn about the benefits you could receive.
Why should you enroll?
In addition to having access to the services noted above, enrollment in the VA health care system provides veterans with access to America’s largest integrated health care system, serving more than 9 million veterans each year! Check out a few of the main benefits of enrolling:
- No enrollment fee, monthly premiums, or deductibles. Most vets have no out-of-pocket costs (some may have to make small copayments for health care or prescription drugs).
- There are more than 1,200 VA medical facilities available, which means your coverage can go with you if you travel or move.
- You have the freedom to use other plans with your VA health care, including Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, or private insurance.
Where can you learn more?
VA publishes the "Health Care Benefits Overview" booklet, which provides general information and frequently asked questions about VA’s medical benefits package available for all enrollees, and other information such as eligibility for enrollment. The publication can be downloaded at http://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/resources/epublications.asp.
More information is available at the following resources:
- VA Central Ohio Healthcare System Enrollment Office, which is located at 420 North James Road Columbus, OH 43219.
- VHA Health Benefits Website
- My HealtheVet
- VA toll-free 1-877-222-VETS (8387) Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET.
VA Central Ohio Healthcare System offers a variety of health services to meet the needs of our nation's veterans. For a complete A to Z list of services, please visit www.columbus.va.gov/services/index.asp.