VA Maryland Health Care System
Become a Patient
All Veterans are encouraged to enroll for care with the VA Maryland Health Care System. It costs nothing to enroll, and it may be one of the most important things you can do to assure your continued health and well-being.
There are many ways that you may qualify to receive top-notch VA health care. Eligibility for VA health care is dependent upon a number of variables, which may influence the final determination of the services for which you may qualify to receive. These factors include:
- Nature of a Veteran's discharge from military service (e.g., honorable, other than honorable, dishonorable)
- Length of service
- VA service-connected disabilities; and- Income level.
For more information about VA health care eligibility, please visit the VA Health Care web page, or contact the Eligibility & Enrollment Center for the VA Maryland Health Care System at 1-800-463-6295, ext. 7324. To quickly and easily see if you are eligible for VA health care, visit the Do I Qualify for VA Health Care? web page and complete a short online questionnaire.
How to Enroll for VA Health Care
To receive VA health care, Veterans must first be enrolled with the VA health care system. You can apply for VA health care by one of the following three options:
- You can enroll in person at any VA medical center or outpatient clinic throughout the VA Maryland Health Care System. When enrolling in person, you will be asked to complete VA Form 10-10EZ - Application for Health Benefits. To help expedite the enrollment process, you are encouraged to take a copy of your discharge paperwork (Form DD214) and information about your combined household finances when visiting a VA facility to enroll in person.
- You can enroll electronically by completing the online VA Form 10-10EZ – Application for Health Benefits Health Care.
- You can enroll by mail after completing VA Form 10-10EZ - Application for Health Benefits. To obtain a copy of VA Form 10-10EZ, you may visit any VA medical center or outpatient clinic or you can contact the Eligibility & Enrollment Center for the VA Maryland Health Care System at 1-800-463-6295, ext. 7324. Once completed, you can mail VA Form 10-10EZ to:
Eligibility & Enrollment Center
VA Maryland Health Care System
10 North Greene Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
What Happens After the Enrollment Process?
After a Veteran has completed the enrollment process, they will receive a letter from the VA with information about their eligibility status for VA health care. If the Veteran is eligible for VA health care, they should contact the Appointment Call Center for the VA Maryland Health Care System at 1-800-463-6295, ext. 7333 to be scheduled their first VA primary care clinic appointment.
After you have enrolled for VA health care, you may have questions about what to do next. Our New Patient Orientation Video provides short sections with the information you need to know to begin using your VA health care services.
What Should You Bring to Your First VA Primary Care Appointment?
On the day of your first VA primary care appointment, it is recommended that you bring the following items with you to assist us in managing your health care needs:
- Copies of recent test reports (i.e. x-rays, EKG’s, stress tests, echocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, blood/urine, etc.)
- Copies of medical records from hospitalizations in the past two years
- All medication bottles, including over the counter medications
VA Health Care Enrollment Priority Groups
Eight priority groups have been established to help ensure that VA resources are allocated to Veterans with the highest priority for VA care - with priority group 1 being the highest. Veterans in priority groups 7 and 8 are those individuals who have no service-connected disabilities or have a disability that is officially rated as “noncompensable zero percent service-connected,” and whose incomes are above the established VA thresholds. Priority groups 7 and 8 Veterans must agree to make co-payments for medical care and medications. Please note that Veterans who are applying for enrollment on or after January 17, 2003 who are assigned to priority group 8 may not be eligible for enrollment or care of their nonservice-connected conditions. For additional information about VA health care enrollment priority groups, please visit the VA Enrollment Priority Group web page.
Co-pays and Charges
There is no monthly premium required to use VA health care. Veterans may have to agree to pay some co-payments depending on their priority group and income level. If a Veteran has their own private health insurance, it may cover the cost of the co-payments. In addition, VA is required by law to bill private health insurance providers for the treatment of a Veteran’s nonservice-connected conditions. All Veterans applying for VA health care are required to provide information about their health insurance coverage, including the coverage provided under their spouses’ policy. Veterans with disability ratings for injury or disease incurred during military service receive most care without any cost. For more information about VA co-payments and charges, please contact the Eligibility & Enrollment Center for the VA Maryland Health Care System at 1-800-463-6295, ext. 7324, or visit the VA Co-pays and Charges web page.
If you served in the active military, naval or air service and are separated under any condition other than dishonorable, you may qualify for VA health care benefits. Current and former members of the Reserves or National Guard who were called to active duty (other than for training only) by a federal order and completed the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty may be eligible for VA health care as well.
Minimum Duty Requirements
Most Veterans who enlisted after September 7, 1980, or entered active duty after October 16, 1981, must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which they were called to active duty in order to be eligible. This minimum duty requirement may not apply to Veterans who were discharged for a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, discharged for a hardship, or received an “early out.” Since there are a number of other exceptions to the minimum duty requirements, VA encourages all Veterans to apply in order to determine their enrollment eligibility.
Veterans Health Benefits Handbook
VA is producing a personalized “Veterans Health Benefits Handbook” for each Veteran enrolled in the VA health care system. The purpose of the handbook is to provide a current and accurate description of VA health care benefits and services. Your handbook will be tailored specifically to you with personal identifying information and should be safeguarded as you would any other sensitive personal document.
The “Veterans Health Benefits Handbook” includes:
- Eligibility and health care benefits,
- Contact information for your local facility,
- Information regarding copayment responsibilities,
- Instructions on how to schedule appointments,
- Guidelines to communicate treatment needs,
- Patient rights,
- Ways to obtain copies of medical records, and
- Other important information.
You will receive your personalized handbook via U.S. mail; therefore, you should have a current address on file with VA. Handbooks are mailed based on Priority Group, beginning with Priority Group 1 and ending with Priority Group 8. For more information, go to www.va.gov/healthbenefits/vhbh. You may also call VA toll-free at 1-877-222-VETS (8387) if you need to update your address or receive additional information.
Health Care Benefits Overview
VA publishes the "Health Care Benefits Overview" booklet, which is designed to provide general information and frequently asked questions about VA’s medical benefits package available for all enrollees, and other information such as eligibility for enrollment.
The publication is available to you at the VA Maryland Health Care System, and can be downloaded at http://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/resources/epublications.asp.
The publication is very helpful, and we encourage you to refer to it whenever you have questions about your eligibility for specific health care benefits. Additional assistance is available at the following resources: