VA Health Care Benefits in California

Veterans can receive VA health care in California after returning from active military service from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Those who enroll in California VA health care can receive preventative, primary and emergency care if they meet the VA healthcare eligibility standards based on a veteran’s term of service, income and discharge status. Over 8 million veterans receive VA healthcare insurance plan benefits each year for a wide variety of services after completing the VA health care application process. Benefits of VA health care include inpatient and outpatient care and a wide range of VA facilities. With an increased attention on veteran health care issues, more options are available in California to service veteran health needs.

 

What are the benefits of California VA health care?

Veterans can verify VA health care eligibility to receive financial assistance for health care costs through a dedicated marketplace. Veterans who do not currently receive benefits of VA health care through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can also consider options through the Covered California marketplace. Although you can seek information about Medicare health care options or other medical coverage plans and apply for the program, VA health care offers the best coverage options and benefits for U.S. veterans. While VA health insurance for family members is not standard for most health care options through the VA, you can find comprehensive family health care options through Covered California. VA offers a few limited health care programs, such as CHAMPVA, for family members of veterans who meet specific qualification requirements, such as having a specific type of disability.

To explore more benefits of VA health care options in California, click here for our in-depth guide.

If you have veteran health care issues that the typical VA health care options cannot address immediately, you may be eligible for the Veterans Choice Program (VCP). The VCP helps veterans receive health care if they have difficulty receiving VA health care from a VA-approved facility, for a variety of reasons. Those with a VA healthcare insurance plan can use VCP options for temporary and local solutions to health care that can reduce the time for veterans have to wait to see a physician.

What are the VA health care eligibility requirements in California?

The VA health care application process in California can be complicated, especially for those learning how to enroll in VA health care. VA health benefits eligibility income standards are also an important aspect of enrolling in VA health programs. To qualify for VA healthcare, you must have served a minimum number of months in active duty. Additionally, VA health care eligibility is contingent upon the year you entered active service. You may not need to meet the established criteria for service length to be eligible for veteran health care in CA, depending on the type of service-related disability that resulted in discharge or early release. VA health care eligibility also uses an eight-level Priority Group system that takes into consideration the percentage of each veteran’s service-related disability as well as other conditions or awards received during active service, such as being a former Prisoner of War (POW) or having received a Purple Heart or Medal of Honor. Each group has specific criteria for VA health care eligibility that determines what type of VA coverage veterans will receive in their respective Priority Groups. For example, Priority Groups for veteran health care veterans with disability levels above 50 percent may receive more assistance than those in lower Priority Group.

Veterans must choose if they want to receive a VA healthcare insurance plan from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or through Covered California. Usually, veterans cannot enroll in both options at once. However, if you enroll in VA health care through the U.S. Veteran Affairs Office, you can provide insurance for your family by enrolling them in a Covered California plan. VA health insurance for family members is allowed under extremely limited circumstances, but family members of veterans may be eligible to sign up for TRICARE, a program administered by the Defense Health Agency. Otherwise, family members of veterans can seek eligibility information for Medicaid, other federal and Covered California options or private health care to see which method of coverage is right for them.

How to Apply for VA Health Care in California

You can apply for VA health care in California with the VA whenever you need to seek benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Additionally, you can update your VA health insurance enrollment status at any time to make any personal information updates, like a change in dependents or marital status. You can apply to enroll in VA health care online, by phone or in person. Once you submit your application, the VA will determine the benefits of VA health care you and your family can access, and you will receive a veteran healthcare eligibility priority group. This priority group is based on the veteran health care issues you have, the severity of these concerns and the kind of care you are in need of.

Once you have completed the VA health care application process and enroll in VA health care you can receive your Veteran Health ID card. You must have a photo taken that will be placed on your VA health insurance card and verifies your enrollment in a VA health plan.

To get more details on how to apply for VA health care benefits, click here for our comprehensive guide.


What Are the Available Health Services in California?

Low-cost, and even free health benefits are available to a large number of California residents, with some being offered to low-income applicants and others being offered to elderly or disabled individuals. However, before you can access these health services, you need to submit the appropriate application and prove that you meet the necessary qualifications. To learn all about the different health benefits you can receive in California and the application procedures that you must undergo to obtain these benefits, download our free comprehensive guide.


Who Is Eligible to Obtain California Health Benefits?

California’s health programs have various eligibility requirements that applicants must meet in order to successfully enroll. Income, age and other factors are all taken into consideration in the eligibility verification process. Find out which health benefits you qualify for here.