About VA Health Care Priority Groups

During the enrollment process, VA assigns each veteran to a priority group. The priority groups function to ration health care so that the neediest veterans are enrolled first and receive care ahead of veterans who are healthy and have the means to pay for their health insurance.

Group 1

Veterans with service-connected disabilities rated at 50% or more, or veterans who are determined to be unemployable due to their service-connected disabilities. This is the highest priority group.

Group 2

Veterans with service-connected disabilities rated from 30%-49%.

Group 3

Former Prisoners-of-War; Purple Heart recipients; veterans with service-connected disabilities rated from 10%-29%; or veterans who were discharged due to a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.

Group 4

Veterans receiving Aid and Attendance, or those determined to be housebound, or catastrophically disabled.

Group 5

Veterans receiving a VA pension; veterans eligible for Medicaid; veterans with non-service-connected disabilities whose incomes are below the annual income thresholds established by the VA.

Group 6

Veterans of World War I; veterans seeking care due to conditions associated with radiation exposure due to nuclear testing, or the occupation of Hiroshima or Nagasaki; veterans with zero percent service-connected disabilities who are receiving disability compensation benefits; veterans who served in a theater of combat operations after 11/11/1998.

Group 7

Veterans with income and/or net worth above the VA national threshold, but below the geographic (local) income threshold, who agree to pay co-pays.

Group 8

Veterans with income and/or net worth above both the national income threshold, and the geographic income threshold, who agree to pay co-pays.

Recently Discharged Combat Veterans

Effective January 28, 2008, veterans discharged from active duty after January 28, 2003, are eligible for enhanced placement into Priority group 6, (unless eligible for higher priority enrollment due to service-connected disability status), for five years post discharge. During this five-year period of enhanced enrollment benefits, combat veterans receive VA care and medications at no cost for any conditions related to their service in combat.

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