How Affordable Care Act impacts veterans
The American Legion - August 7, 2013
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Posted in Veterans Health Center
President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law on
March 23, 2010. The intent of its passage is to expand access to
health-care coverage, control health-care costs, and improve America’s
health-care delivery system. Under provisions of the ACA’s "individual
mandate," all Americans are required to purchase medical insurance by
How does the ACA impact veterans?
Under the ACA, most individuals will be required to have minimum
essential health-care coverage for themselves and their dependents. If
people do not have the minimum coverage, they will have to make a
payment when filing taxes for each month they lack coverage. This
payment will either be a flat fee or a percentage of taxable household
For example, you would pay $95 or 1 percent of your taxable income for
2014, $325 or 2 percent in 2015, $695 or 2.5 percent in 2016, etc. The
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care meets the law’s standard
for coverage. Therefore, veterans already enrolled in VA health care
would not be eligible for assistance in lowering the cost of their
health insurance premiums, if they were to purchase additional
health-care coverage outside of VA.
Veterans may still purchase private health insurance, on or off the
marketplace, to complement their VA coverage. If veterans are enrolled
in VA, they do not need to take additional steps to meet the health-care
coverage standards of the ACA.
What if a veteran is not currently enrolled in the VA?
VA wants all veterans to receive health care that improves their health
and well-being. Veterans and other beneficiaries wishing to enroll in VA
health care can apply here for enrollment at any time.
Where can veterans learn more on how the ACA will affect them?
Last week, VA began sending letters to enrolled veterans to highlight
its web page on the ACA, and to answer any questions about the
requirements of the law. The bottom line: the ACA does not change VA
health benefits or veterans’ out-of-pocket costs. And if you are not
enrolled in VA health care, you can apply at any time.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your veterans
health-care benefits and the Affordable Care Act, please contact The
American Legion’s Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission at email@example.com.