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Healthcare Options for Veterans

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Content authors: Mason O'Neal and Bryon R. MacDonald

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offer comprehensive health coverage to active members of the military and to veterans. The Department of Defense provides coverage through the TRICARE program. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA)administers VA health care benefits for veterans. CWICs may encounter Social Security beneficiaries who have health coverage through one or both of these programs. SSDI beneficiaries may also have Medicare as additional health coverage.

     When a CWIC provides counseling on health coverage to beneficiaries with Medicare and also TRICARE or VA health benefits, it is important to understand the interactions between these programs. This paper provides a brief introduction to TRICARE and VA health benefits and discusses how these programs interact with Medicare. The paper will focus on the most important information that CWICs need to know when providing counseling on health care to veterans who have Medicare and also TRICARE or VA health benefits.