March 13, 2024 By Geraldine

What Are the Income Limits for VA Health Care in 2021?

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides affordable healthcare to enrolled veterans through its system at little to no charge, though not all veterans qualify. Eligibility depends on various factors including service-connected disability and income; qualification groups within the VA system help determine who can enroll for healthcare coverage and what their copayments will be.

2021 will see a national income threshold for VA healthcare of $35,000 annually per household with one member living alone, though local thresholds can often be higher. Falling below this threshold places veterans into priority groups which could affect access to services or copayment amounts.

Priority groups range from 1-8, with veterans in priority group 1 receiving the full range of healthcare benefits while those in priority groups 7 and 8 pay full copayments for medical treatment.

Individuals in the lowest priority groups have annual incomes above both the national and local thresholds, while those in higher priority categories earn incomes that surpass both these limits.

The VA sets its thresholds based on what it calls “countable income,” which encompasses most forms of earned and unearned income, such as wages. Wages are obviously a source of “countable income,” as are alimony payments, workers compensation benefits, unemployment insurance payments and Social Security benefits; pension payments, investment income from assets and savings accounts including interest dividends royalties are also countable income sources – even proceeds from life insurance policies or certain annuities are countable income to them!

As part of their eligibility determination for health care, the VA takes into account other criteria related to family size and net worth of veterans when determining eligibility. While this factor may be less crucial than income alone, it still may prevent an individual from enrolling. A household’s total net worth can typically be calculated by adding up all their assets including real estate properties such as their house, savings accounts, investments accounts, retirement funds or life insurance policies owned by all members in their household.

Veterans whose annual income falls between the national and local thresholds could qualify for VA healthcare with reduced copayments. To find out for sure, apply and undergo a financial assessment.

Nearly three quarters of those using VA healthcare do so due to service-connected disabilities. Other reasons could include convenience, the VA’s excellent reputation for quality healthcare services and maintaining their doctor they’ve known for some time. Yet many who could take advantage of it remain unaware that its availability exists – hence why the VA needs an expanded public awareness campaign about availability and affordability. For more information about enrolling with the VA visit their website; local offices or call the hotline directly if necessary for more assistance.