Veterans' Health Insurance Options
The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) is a comprehensive health care program in which the VA shares the cost of covered health care services and supplies with eligible beneficiaries. The program is administered by the Health Administration Center. Due to the similarity between CHAMPVA and the Department of Defense (DoD) TRICARE program (sometimes referred to by its old name, CHAMPUS), the two are often mistaken for each other. CHAMPVA is a VA program, whereas TRICARE is a regionally managed health care program for active duty and retired members of the uniformed services, their families, and survivors. In some cases, veterans may look to be eligible for both/either program on paper. However, if you are a military retiree, or the spouse of a veteran who was killed in action, you are and will always be a TRICARE beneficiary; you cannot choose between the two programs. To learn more, click on this section.
TRICARE is the health care program serving active duty service members, National Guard and Reserve members, retirees, their families, survivors and certain former spouses worldwide. As a major component of the Military Health System, TRICARE brings together the health care resources of the uniformed services and supplements them with networks of civilian health care professionals, institutions, pharmacies and suppliers to provide access to high-quality health care services while maintaining the capability to support military operations. To be eligible for TRICARE benefits, you must be registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. To learn more, click on this section.