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What are some medical benefits afforded veterans?

All veterans of the United States armed services have access to medical benefits via the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, but the exact nature of those benefits varies from person to person. Understanding your eligibility status and how to maximize your benefits as a veteran can make a bit difference to your health care status now as well as your long-term care plans.

Medical benefits for veterans include treatment of injuries and illnesses as well as preventative care. Depending on a veteran's functional status, they might also be eligible to receive physical therapy and other treatments to help maintain or improve function, and some benefits help cover additions or equipment in the home to help veterans function during daily life.

The preventative care services commonly offered under VA benefits include annual medical check-ups, including exams that are specific to gender such as gynecology exams. Nutrition education and overall health education is often provided to help bolster veteran health, and covered individuals are also often offered immunizations and counseling regarding genetic diseases.

Inpatient and outpatient treatments include physician's and specialists visits as well as hospital stays when required, though the level of benefits and the exact nature of coverage varies for each person. Surgeries, recovery requirements, dialysis, and acute care are all some examples of things that are covered for most veterans.

Veterans might also be able to take advantage of mental health coverage to help pay for counseling or even inpatient mental health stays. Finally, coverage often extends to end-of-life needs such as assisted living care, skilled nursing care and hospice care. Understanding what coverage applies to you and how to legally seek maximum benefits can help you plan appropriately for all stages of your life.

Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, "Medical Benefits Package," accessed Jan. 08, 2016

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