How Much Does VA Health Care Cost Per Month?

how much does va health care cost per month

As a veteran, you have faithfully served our nation and deserve access to health care that will enhance your life. VA provides free or low-cost solutions and priceless peace of mind; for veterans who qualify, Medicare coverage with lower deductibles and copayments may take over where VA leaves off.

Eligibility for VA programs and services depends on many factors, including income. Veterans who make low income may qualify for free or reduced cost health care based on their active duty service; learn more about VA health benefits here and how you can apply.

Congressional Budget Office recently conducted an analysis that explored future costs associated with VA treating veterans. They discovered that in inflation adjusted dollars, per-enrolled VA patient costs will continue to increase over time due to medical spending per enrollee and population aging trends.

CBO’s analysis also indicated that copayments and reimbursement rates from private insurers will continue to rise, an area I find particularly troubling and would like to discuss further with colleagues, as well as identify strategies for mitigating these costs with you.

One factor leading to increased costs is the rate at which VA health care providers bill insurance companies. To be reimbursed by private health plans, VA must first establish “reasonable charges”, which are calculated using amounts paid for similar health services by third parties in its geographic region.

While higher outpatient rates do contribute to increasing VA costs, they do not account for all of them – because most costs related to inpatient care.

Priority groups 1 through 8 do not incur premiums; however, those requiring copayments or reimbursement from private health insurance may need to pay part of the costs; similar to when beneficiaries of Medicare must make copayments for prescriptions covered under their private health plans.

Veterans enrolled in means-tested care do not incur out-of-pocket expenses for dental, hearing aids and glasses, home health services and geriatric care; some also qualify for disability home renovation grants and assistance covering cost of living expenses while in nursing home facilities.

Congress bears the responsibility to uphold veterans’ best interests, so I encourage you to support H.R. 216 by Ranking Member Brownley, the Department of Veterans Affairs Budget Planning Reform Act. It will ensure the VA remains accountable to Congress on all fronts while offering more transparency into costs associated with our nation’s largest health care system.

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