Q. My 35-year-old son gets all of his medical needs taken care of at the VA. Does that count as health insurance in the new health care law?
A. Yes. His VA health coverage is health insurance. It’s written into the law, as a matter of fact, so he's all set. But if he wants he can buy other coverage.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has put out a page of FAQs about the Affordable Care Act that explains all this in detail.
- Although VA health care meets the requirements of the new law, there’s nothing to stop beneficiaries from having other coverage as well.
- If you have VA health care, you can’t get tax credits to lower the cost of your premiums on state Health Insurance Marketplaces because you’re considered already to have “minimum essential coverage.” You can still shop on a marketplace for additional coverage but will have to pay the full premium regardless of your income.
- Having VA health care does not preclude other members of your family from getting those subsidies for marketplace plans.
- Veterans can apply for VA health coverage at any time. Acceptance depends on where you fall on a priority list for coverage, a list that can change from time to time.
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— Nancy Metcalf
Health reform countdown: We are doing an article a day on the new health care law until Jan. 1, 2014, when it takes full effect. (Read the previous posts in the series.) To get health insurance advice tailored to your situation, use our Health Law Helper.
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