You can go into any VA facility and start processing your benefits. You will need your DD-214. Remember to utilize resources like your local Veterans’ Service Officer or the VA’s eBenefits web portal for help with any of this.
Outside the VA
It’s important to know that in most cases, only veterans qualify for VA health care coverage – it does not include family members. If you do not have a job lined up or your employer doesn’t offer health care coverage, here are some options to consider.
Some service members may be eligible for TRICARE coverage on a temporary basis through the Transition Assistance Management Program (TAMP), which provides 180 days of free coverage after regular TRICARE benefits end.
Another option is the Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP). You will pay premiums for this temporary health coverage, which is available for 18 to 36 months after you separate and lose TRICARE coverage.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows you to compare and buy private health insurance plans. However, if you are already enrolled in a VA health care program you do not have to buy additional coverage to meet the ACA individual mandate requirement.
If you are unemployed, you may qualify for Medicaid, children’s health insurance or lower costs on marketplace insurance – all available through the ACA.
Now that you know more about how to receive immediate care, you can apply this knowledge and hopefully be less worried about healthcare.