VA provides world-class health care to eligible Veterans. The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, with more than 1,700 sites of care, and it is consistently ranked among the nation’s top health care providers.

Many Veterans may be eligible for VA health care. Enrollment in VA health care satisfies your Affordable Care Act health coverage requirement—no add-on insurance plan is needed. VA encourages you to explore your health care benefits, including the following services:

  • All enrolled Veterans have access to VA’s comprehensive medical benefits package including preventive, primary, and specialty care; prescriptions; mental health care; home health care; geriatrics and extended care; medical equipment and prosthetics; and more.
  • Most Veterans qualify for cost-free health care services, although some Veterans must pay modest copays for health care or prescriptions.
  • Women Veterans can receive primary care, breast and cervical cancer screenings, prenatal care, maternity care coverage, and other gender-specific services.
  • Veterans who have served in combat-zones, and their family members, veterans who are survivors of military sexual trauma—and bereaved military family members —may visit VA’s many community-based Vet Centers, which provide no-cost counseling, outreach, and referral services to help the whole family adjust to life after deployment.
  • Combat Veterans who were discharged or released from active service on or after Jan. 28, 2003, are eligible to enroll in the VA healthcare system for five years from the date of their discharge or release, regardless of their disability claim status. Combat Veterans who enroll with VA under this enhanced Combat Veteran authority will continue to be enrolled after their enhanced eligibility period ends, although their enrollment priority group may change. Many Combat Veterans applying after their five-year special enrollment period ends are eligible for enrollment and are encouraged to learn more about these and other health care benefits on VA’s health benefits page.

VA Requirements:

Military Service Requirements

Veterans must have served in the active military, naval, or air service and separated under any conditions other than dishonorable. Most Veterans who enlisted after Sept. 7, 1980, or who entered active duty after Oct. 16, 1981, must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which they were called to active duty. This includes current and former members of the Reserve or National Guard called to active duty by a federal order.

Enhanced Eligibility

Certain Veterans may be afforded enhanced eligibility status when applying and enrolling in the VA health care system. Veterans who:

  • Are a Former Prisoner of War (POW)
  • In receipt of the Purple Heart Medal.
  • In receipt of the Medal of Honor.
  • Have a compensable VA awarded service-connected disability of 10% or more.
  • In receipt of a VA Pension.
  • Were discharged from the military because of a disability (not preexisting), early out, or hardship.
  • Served in a Theater of Operations for 5 years post discharge.
  • Served in the Republic of Vietnam from January 9, 1962 to May 7, 1975.
  • U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships associated with military service in Vietnam
  • Served in the Persian Gulf from August 2, 1990 to November 11, 1998.
  • Were stationed or resided at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987.
  • Are found by VA to be Catastrophically Disabled.
  • Previous years' household income is below VA's National Income or Geographical-Adjusted Thresholds

Application Requirements

Proof of discharge papers such as DD-214

Any additional health insurance information, including coverage through a spouse or domestic partner

Wage and financial information, including previous calendar-year gross income for the Veteran, spouse, and dependent children


Local Healthcare Locations:


Lynn Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC)
225 Boston Road, Suite 107
Lynn, MA 01904
Phone: 800-838-6331

Gloucester Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC)
199 Main Street, Gloucester
MA 01930
Phone: 800-838-6331


Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital
200 Springs Road
Bedford, MA 01730
781-687-2000 | 800-838-6331

VA Boston Healthcare System, Jamaica Plain Campus
150 South Huntington Avenue
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Phone: 617-232-9500
Driving Directions

Vet Centers:

Lowell Vet Center
10 George Street
Lowell, MA 08152
978-453-1151 or 781-687-4944
Community Access Points & remote counseling available in Haverhill, Gloucester & Lynn.

Boston Vet Center
665 Beacon Street, Suite 100
Boston, MA 02215
617-424-0665 or 877-927-8387

Causeway OPC
251 Causeway St.
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-248-1000 or 617-248-1000

Other Resources:

Veterans Health Administration:

Veterans Crisis Line:

VA healthcare for Women:

VA Caregiver Support:

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