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World War II Veterans Receive Free Health Care

In a new initiative launched by the Department of Veterans and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), all World War II veterans are now eligible for health care, medical services and nursing home care free of charge when enrolled with VA health care. The VHA is not only one of the most popular resources used by military personnel and veterans, but the largest integrated health care system in the country with 1,321 health care facilities including several medical centers and outpatient sites.

This expansion applies to all WWII veterans who served between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946, regardless of their length of service or financial status. These veterans will not have to pay copays, enrollment fees or monthly premiums.

“These members of the greatest generation answered the call to serve when our nation—and the world—needed them most. Now, it’s our job to serve them in every way that we can,” said Dr. Shereef Elnahal, VA under secretary for health. “We are proud to provide world-class, no-cost health care to these heroes at VA and we encourage all of them to enroll today.”

While these services will be provided free of charge, veterans must enroll into the program by email, phone or at their local VA office. Those who once didn’t qualify or weren’t approved for VA health care are encouraged to re-apply as income levels no longer apply due to this expansion. Veterans who enroll may also keep their private providers, Medicare and most other insurance to meet their health care needs.

This expansion is made possible through the Joseph Maxwell Cleland and Robert Joseph Dole Memorial Veterans Benefits and Health Care Improvement Act of 2022 (Cleland-Dole Act), signed in December 2022. 

Facilities that WWII veterans can gain access to at no cost also include the following: 

Common Medical Center Services

VHA Medical Centers provide a wide range of services including traditional hospital-based services such as surgery, critical care, mental health, orthopedics, pharmacy, radiology and physical therapy.

In addition, most of the medical centers offer additional medical and surgical specialty services including audiology and speech pathology, dermatology, dental, geriatrics, neurology, oncology, podiatry, prosthetics, urology and vision care. Some medical centers also offer advanced services such as organ transplants and plastic surgery. 

Community-Based Outpatient Clinic

To make access to health care easier, VHA utilizes Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC) across the country. These clinics provide the most common outpatient services, including health and wellness visits, without the hassle of visiting a larger medical center. VHA continues to expand the network of CBOCs to include more rural locations, putting access to care closer to home.

Community Living Centers

Community Living Centers (CLC) are skilled nursing facilities, often referred to as nursing homes. Veterans with chronic stable conditions such as dementia, those requiring rehabilitation or those who need comfort and care at the end of life are served within one of our Community Living Centers 

Patient Advocates

Available at every medical center, Patient Advocates are highly trained professionals who can help resolve your concerns about any aspect of your health care experience, particularly those concerns that cannot be resolved at the point of care. Patient Advocates listen to any questions, problems or special needs you have and refer your concerns to the appropriate medical center staff for resolution.

Read more articles for the veteran community here.

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