Should I give up my private health insurance or other insurance (like TRICARE or Medicare) if I’m accepted into the VA health care program?

This is your decision. You can save money if you drop your private health insurance, but there are risks. We encourage you to keep your insurance because:

  • We don’t normally provide care for Veterans’ family members. So, if you drop your private insurance plan, your family may not have health coverage.
  • We don’t know if Congress will provide enough funding in future years for us to care for all Veterans who are signed up for VA health care. If you’re in one of the lower priority groups, you could lose your VA health care benefits in the future. If you don’t keep your private insurance, this would leave you without health coverage.
  • If you have Medicare Part B (coverage for doctors and outpatient services) and you cancel it, you won’t be able to get it back until January of the following year. You may also have to pay a penalty to get your coverage back (called reinstating your coverage).