Deanna, could you please post this to your list! Thanks!

I was at the VA today and received this information from the benefits' coordinator. I hope that this will answer everyone's questions. This form was copied, word for word.

The coordinator assured me that if you do not enroll by October 1, 1998, you WILL NOT lose your healthcare benefits for life. But you must be enrolled before you can receive heathcare from the VA. He also gave me a "Veteran Information Phone Line" number: 1-800-309-8398.


March 10, 1998

Begin Fact Sheet

Department of Veterans Affairs
Healthcare Fact Sheet #2
December 1997


Why should I enroll?

You should enroll to ensure that you may receive the comprehensive benefits package offered through VA's national healthcare system. In addition, your enrollment will help VA plan its delivery of quality care.

What kind of services will I be eligible for if I enroll?

You are eligible for a comprehensive benefit package of inpatient and outpatient services with the important addition of preventive and primary care. These services include such things as: diagnosis and treatment; rehabilitation; mental health and substance abuse treatment; home health; respite and hospice care; and drugs and pharmaceuticals.

Will I be able to get my medications from the VA?

Yes, if you are enrolled or among the groups expected from the enrollment requirement. The medications must be prescribed by a physician who is employed by or under contract to VA.

Do I need to be enrolled, if all I want is to get hearing aids and eyeglasses from the VA?

Yes. (Unless you have a service-connected disability rated by VA as 50% or more or you need treatment for a service-connected condition or you were released from active duty in the past twelve months for a compensable disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.)

In addition, you must otherwise be receiving healthcare or services from the VA. If you do not have a service-connected disability rating of 10% or greater, hearing aids and eyeglasses will only be provided in special circumstances and not for generally occurring hearing or vision loss.

I'm already receiving VA healthcare service. Do I have to apply for enrollment?

If you have been receiving VA healthcare services since October 1, 1996, you do not need to apply. In this case, VA will process an application on your behalf.

How do I apply if I'm not currently receiving VA healthcare service?

All veterans may apply by contacting the nearest VA healthcare facility (in person, by phone or by mail). You may also obtain an enrollment application from your local Veterans Benefits Office.

Is October 1, 1998, my last chance to apply for enrollment?

NO, you can apply for enrollment at any time. After October 1st, 1998, you must be enrolled to receive healthcare unless you are:

I already have a veteran identification card. Do I need to enroll?

Yes, but check with your local VA healthcare facility. If you have received healthcare within the past year, your application for enrollment may have been automatically processed.

How long after application will I know if I'm enrolled?

This first year of national enrollment is a test year. We are gaining important experience in building and managing a national enrollment system. This year's veteran applicants will be notified whether they have been enrolled beginning in March and ending September 1998. The turnaround time for the next year's applicants is expected to become fairly short as the enrollment system is fully implemented.

Should I give up my exisiting healthcare coverage if I enroll with the VA?

No, you aren't required to; and we don't encourage it. The VA healthcare is dependent on the level of Congressional appropriations not on premiums paid by enrolled veterans. Veterans with private insurance or other public coverage such as DoD, Medicare or Medicaid may find VA enrollment to be a complement to their other coverage.

If I enroll in the VA, can I receive care anywhere in the VA system?

Yes, once enrolled you are part of a national healthcare system with approximately 1100 service sites. Generally, you will receive your primary healthcare at the facility you have indicated as your preferred facility. For more specialized treatment, you may have a choice of facilities as recommended by your primary provider. When traveling, you may obtain care at any VA facility.

Once enrolled, do I have to re-enroll each year?

Yes. Your enrollment will be automatically renewed unless you choose not to enroll or if the VA resources limit the number of veterans VA can cover.

If I move, how do I change my enrollment information?

Simply report any changes in enrollment information to the VA healthcare facility that is your primary care site.

For more information contact your nearest VA healthcare facility or visit our WEB site at:

Department of Veterans Affairs
Healthcare Enrollment Fact Sheet #2
Veterans Health Administration
December 1997
Washington, D.C. 20420

End Fact Sheet

Revised 03-10-98 by DGS