Determining which health care program you and your dependants qualify for can be confusing, so the Summit County Veterans Service Commission would like to provide some basic information regarding both the CHAMPVA and TRICARE programs.
The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) is a comprehensive health care program where the VA shares the cost of covered services and supplies with eligible beneficiaries. CHAMPVA provides coverage to veterans that are 100 percent service connected through an injury they acquired while in the military, to their dependants or to their widow(er). For a veteran or dependant to be eligible for CHAMPVA, the veteran must meet one of the following requirements:
- Be rated permanently and totally disabled due to a service-connected disability
- Was rated permanently and totally disabled due to a service-connected at the time of death
- Died of a service-connected disability
- Died on active duty and the dependants are not eligible for DoD Tricare benefits
To find out more information on CHAMPVA or to fill out an application, visit www.va.gov/hac or call 1-800-733-8387.
TRICARE is a health care program of the U.S. DoD Military Health System serving military retirees and their dependents, as well as some members of the Reserve Component. TRICARE is the civilian care component of the Military Health System, bringing together the health care resources of the uniformed services and the networks of civilian health care professionals, institutions, pharmacies and suppliers.
In order to be eligible for TRICARE benefits, you must first register in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). For enrollment information, visit www.tricare.mil or call 1-800-538-9552.
“Sometimes, a veteran or their dependents may look to be eligible for either program on paper, when in reality, they can only be eligible for one or the other,” explains David Burden, VSC project manager. “What it really comes down to is if you are a retired vet or the spouse of a vet who was killed in action. If you are, then you will always be under TRICARE.”
VSC can help you determine which benefits you may qualify to receive. Contact VSC at (330)-634-2830 to learn more.