Health Care Eligibility Under PACT Act

More Veterans are eligible for VA health care

A Veteran telling a friend about expanded health care eligibilityYou might have recently learned that the PACT Act could impact your care and benefits. But did you know it also expands health care eligibility for many Veterans? The PACT Act began one of the largest expansions of VA benefits in history.

If a Veteran you know hasn’t enrolled in VA health care before, here are some details you can share to help them get the care they’ve earned and deserve:

Vietnam Era Veterans

Vietnam Era Veterans who served in these locations and time periods are eligible to apply for enrollment now:

  • Republic of Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975

  • Thailand at any U.S. or Royal Thai base between January 9, 1962, and June 30, 1976

  • Laos between December 1, 1965, and September 30, 1969

  • Certain provinces in Cambodia between April 16, 1969, and April 30, 1969

  • Guam or American Samoa (or their territorial waters) between January 9, 1962, and July 30, 1980

  • Johnston Atoll (or a ship that called there) between January 1, 1972, and September 30, 1977

Gulf War Era Veterans

Beginning October 1, 2022, Gulf War Era Veterans who served on active duty in a theater of combat operations after the Persian Gulf War may be eligible to enroll in VA health care. This also includes Veterans who, in connection with service during such period, received the following awards or recognitions:

  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

  • Service Specific Expeditionary Medal

  • Combat Era Specific Expeditionary Medal

  • Campaign Specific Expeditionary Medal

  • Any other combat theater award established by Federal statute or Executive Order

Post-9/11 Veterans

Post-9/11 Veterans discharged before October 1, 2013, can enroll in VA health care during a special 1-year enrollment period between October 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023. To be eligible, one of the following must be true:

  • They served on active duty in a theater of combat operations during a period of war after the Persian Gulf War, or

  • They served in combat against a hostile force during a period of hostilities after November 11, 1998.

What to know about VA health care

  • Enrollment is free, and health care may be free too.

  • VA health care for any illness or injury that is determined as “service connected,” or related to your military service, is free. The PACT Act added more than 20 presumptive conditions.

  • Tell your friends to apply for VA health care in 1 of 4 ways:

    1. Online
    2. By calling the toll-free hotline at 877-222-8387

    3. By mailing VA Form 10-10EZ to: Health Eligibility Center 2957 Clairmont Rd., Suite 200 Atlanta, GA 30329

    4. In person at their nearest VA medical center or clinic

My HealtheVet and your health care

If you’re already enrolled in VA health care and have questions about what the PACT Act might mean for you, VA can help. Sign-in to your Premium account and send your doctor a Secure Message. With My HealtheVet, you can also view and organize your health information, like your providers and closest VA facility.

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