Veterans Health Care Administration (VHA)
The VHA was established to provide medical care to veterans who are determined by the Federal Government to be eligible for enrollment. This is not insurance and does not, under most circumstances, provide payment to private physicians or hospitals. Veterans must first enroll in the facility of their choice. In Williams County most veterans enroll at the Ft. Wayne VA Medical Center (VAMC) or the Toledo Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC).
In Indiana some specialty care will be provided at the Marion or Indianapolis VAMC’s and if enrolled in Toledo, specialty care may be provided at the Ann Arbor VAMC. Veterans enrolled in one system can transfer to the other if changes occur or challenges exist.
Since 2003 veterans who submit enrollment paperwork are placed in one of eight priority groups based on either the nature of their service or income and assets. The staff at the Williams County Veterans Service Office will assist with enrollment and with annual means tests (income and assets) certain veterans are required to complete in order to continue to use the VA Health Care System. The means test is based on prior year’s income and net worth and is done annually. However, you can apply for an exemption from paying those co-payments to avoid a hardship if projections of your income for the current year will be substantially below the applicable income threshold.
Eligibility for VA Health Care
Each veteran who submits an enrollment form will be placed in one of eight priority groups. All veterans can enroll in the VA Health Care System. Some veterans will be placed in a subcategory of Priority Group 8 and will not be eligible for health care services. Eligibility for services is determined by the following conditions:
- Former Prisoner of War (POW) - Is a person who, while serving in the active military, naval, or air service, was forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty
- In receipt of the Purple Heart Medal
- In receipt of the Medal of Honor
- Have a VA awarded service-connected disability of 10% or more
- In receipt of a VA Pension
- Were discharged or separated for medical reasons, early out, or hardship
- Were discharged from the military because of a disability (not preexisting)
- Are found by VA to be Catastrophically Disabled
- Previous years' household income is below VA's National Income or Geographical-Adjusted Thresholds and assets are below the established amount. Hardship applications are available if current year’s income is significantly lower than previous year’s income
- Served in the Republic of Vietnam from January 9, 1962 to May 7, 1975 or the Persian Gulf from August 2, 1990 to November 11, 1998