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VA Maryland Health Care System


Frequently Asked Questions & Answers


If I am enrolled with the VA, what benefits will I receive?
Enrolled veterans are eligible to receive necessary hospital and outpatient services, including preventive and primary care. Services include: diagnostic and treatment services; rehabilitation; mental health; substance abuse treatment; home health, prosthetic equipment, respite and hospice care; and medications in conjunction with VA treatment.

If I enroll for VA health care, what cost will there be for me?
There is no monthly premium required to use VA care. However, you may have to agree to pay some co-payments depending on your income level. If you have insurance, it may cover the cost of the co-payments. VA will bill and receive payment from your insurance company (if you are covered) for care received for your nonservice-connected conditions. For more information about VA co-payments, contact the Eligibility & Enrollment Center at 410-605-7324, or visit the VA Copay website at:

If I am enrolled for VA health care, must I use VA as my exclusive health care provider?
No, but please be aware that the authority to pay for non-VA care is extremely limited.

Are there any special benefits for returning combat Veterans?
Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) combat Veterans can receive cost free medical care for any condition related to their service in the Iraq/Afghanistan theater for five years after the date of their discharge or release. In order to take advantage of these benefits, OEF/OIF Veterans need to enroll in the VA health care system. For additional information about the benefits available for returning combat Veterans, contact the OEF/OIF Program Office for the VA Maryland Health Care System at 410-605-7259.

If I have private health insurance can I keep my insurance and use VA health care?
Yes. VA recommends that you retain any health coverage that you currently have to provide you with options and flexibility in the future.

Are there any restrictions on getting care in private facilities at VA expense?
Yes. Care in private facilities at VA expense is provided only under certain circumstances. To determine if you are eligible for private care at VA expense, you will need to contact your local VA medical center or outpatient clinic, or Fee Services for the VA Maryland Health Care System at 1-800-949-1003, ext. 26980.

What is the coverage for emergency care services?
VA provides urgent and limited emergency care in VA facilities. However, VA’s ability to pay for emergency care in non-VA facilities is limited to Veterans receiving care for a service-connected condition, or as payer of last resort for a nonservice-connected condition, but only under the following conditions:

  • You do not have coverage under a health insurance plan, and the services are not eligible for payment under Medicare or Medicaid.
  • Emergency care was provided in a hospital emergency department or similar facility.
  • You are financially liable to the provider of care for payment of the emergency treatment.
  • You are enrolled in the VA health care system and received care from VA within the 24 months preceding the non-VA emergency care.

For information about VA’s emergency care benefits, contact Fee Services for the VA Maryland Health Care System at 1-800-949-1003, ext. 26980.

What if I get sick while on travel?
You may receive health care at any VA health care facility in the country. To minimize any “out-of-pocket” expenses while traveling, you should familiarize yourself with the location of any VA health care facilities in the area where you will be traveling. For a listing of VA health care facilities throughout the country, you can contact the VA Health Benefits Service Center at 1-877-222-8387 or visit the VA website at and click on “Locations.”

Will VA take care of my nursing home care needs?
The following Veterans will be offered nursing home care when appropriate:

  • Veterans requiring nursing home care for a service-connected disability
  • Veterans with service-connected disabilities rated 70% or greater
  • Veterans determined by VA to be unemployable or permanently and totally disabled from a service-connected condition

Most other Veterans are eligible for nursing home care as space and resources permit. Some Veterans may be required to pay a co-payment for nursing home and other long-term care services. To determine if you are eligible for VA nursing home care, please contact the VA Maryland Health Care System’s Long-Term Care Information Line at 410-241-1121.

Am I eligible for prescriptions from VA?
Medications are provided to Veterans receiving care from VA health care facilities and to those Veterans authorized by VA to receive care from private physicians at VA expense. VA pharmacies cannot fill prescriptions written by a private doctor. Additionally, some Veterans may have to pay a co-payment for their prescriptions from VA.

If enrolled, can I get dental care?
In general, dental benefits are limited to dental conditions determined by VA to be service-connected, as well as for Veterans who were Prisoners of War, and Veterans who are receiving 100% service-connected disability compensation. For specifics, contact the Eligibility & Enrollment Center for the VA Maryland Health Care System at 410-605-7324.

Will VA provide hearing aids and eyeglasses?
VA will ensure access to audiology and eye care services including preventive health care services and routine vision testing for all enrolled Veterans. Eyeglasses and hearing aids will be provided to Veterans who meet established eligibility criteria. For information about the eligibility criteria for eyeglasses and hearing aids, please contact the Eligibility & Enrollment Center for the VA Maryland Health Care System at 410-605-7324.

Is there someone I can call if I have a health care question?
You should contact your VA primary care provider if you have any questions about your health care. You can also contact the Telephone Care Line for the VA Maryland Health Care System to receive medical advice or to schedule a same day appointment by calling 1-800-865-2441.

How do I schedule a primary care appointment?
After you are enrolled, you can schedule a primary care appointment by contacting the Appointment Call Center for the VA Maryland Health Care System at 410-605-7333. If you need to schedule a same day appointment, please contact the Telephone Care Line at 1-800-865-2441. If you have a life-threatening emergency, please dial 911.

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