Search Penny Hill Press

Monday, April 15, 2013

Health Care for Dependents and Survivors of Veterans

Sidath Viranga Panangala
Specialist in Veterans Policy

The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) was established by the Veterans Health Care Expansion Act of 1973 (P.L. 93-82). CHAMPVA is primarily a health insurance program where certain eligible dependents and survivors of veterans receive care from private sector health care providers. 


To be eligible for CHAMPVA benefits, the beneficiary must be the spouse or child of a veteran who has a total and permanent service-connected disability, or the widowed spouse or child of a veteran who (1) died as a result of a service-connected disability; or (2) had a total, permanent disability resulting from a service-connected condition at the time of death; or (3) died while on active duty status and in the line of duty; and does not qualify for health care under the Department of Defense (DOD) TRICARE program. The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-163) expanded CHAMPVA benefits for primary caregivers of certain seriously injured veterans if they do not have any other form of health insurance. Under current law a child (other than a helpless child) loses eligibility when (1) the child turns 18, unless enrolled in an accredited school as a full-time student; or (2) the child, who has been a full-time student, turns 23 or loses full-time student status; or (3) the child marries. 


The CHAMPVA program covers most health care services and supplies that are determined to be medically necessary, including inpatient and outpatient care, prescription drugs, mental health services, and skilled nursing care. Certain types of care require advance approval, commonly known as preauthorization. Currently, preauthorization is required for durable medical equipment, hospice services, mental health/substance abuse services, organ and bone marrow transplants, and dental procedures that are directly related to covered medical conditions. 


CHAMPVA beneficiaries usually pay 25% of the cost of medical care up to an annual catastrophic cap of $3,000 plus an annual outpatient deductible of $50 per individual or $100 per family. CHAMPVA pays the remaining 75% of the cost of the beneficiaries’ medical care. CHAMPVA is generally a secondary payer to other health insurance coverage and Medicare. CHAMPVA is the primary payer for Medicaid, Indian Health Service, and State Victims of Crime Compensation Programs.

Date of Report: April 4, 2013
Number of Pages: 16
Order Number: RS22483
Price: $29.95

To Order:

RS22483.pdf  to use the SECURE SHOPPING CART


Phone 301-253-0881

For email and phone orders, provide a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card number, expiration date, and name on the card. Indicate whether you want e-mail or postal delivery. Phone orders are preferred and receive priority processing.