The VA Doesn't Have to Be Your Primary Care Provider

The VA Doesn't Have to Be Your Primary Care Provider

At Strategic Veteran, our business is talking to other Veterans, one-on-one. Without fail, we hear resistance when Veterans talk about going to the VA for treatment of their service-connected disabilities.

There are reasons to have the VA be your primary care provider, but there is no rule that says they have to be. In fact, laws changed in June, making it even easier to see your private physician and have the VA pick up the tab. 

Many Veterans use the VA because that is the cheapest option. Other Veterans choose to see their personal physicians, at least at first, because they are far more comfortable with them. 

Using a Dual System for Medical Care

Most Veterans rely on dual care, seeing the VA for some things like an annual checkup to get prescriptions renewed. They consider their private physician to be their primary care provider for everything else. 

This is not a problem as long as you take steps to ensure you receive the treatment you need. Be aware, though, you might need to expend some extra effort to keep the VA informed.

Receiving care from multiple sources does encourage over-treatment or the opposite, where medical conditions could be missed altogether. Plus, there is always the possibility of receiving prescriptions that don’t combine well because different medical providers prescribed them. You reduce this risk by keeping everyone on your medical team informed about your medicines.

Usually, the decision to use the VA as your primary care provider comes down to personal choice, your satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the VA, and your ability to pay for private care.  

If you have the option of private care through any other insurance coverage, such as from your employer or your spouse’s, you need to let the VA know about it.

Have Other Insurance Options?

There’s a specific form called the CHAMPVA Other Health Insurance (OHI) Certification or OMB Number 2900-0219. By notifying the VA with this form, they will pay for the charges that are not covered by your other insurance. 

The bottom line is there are advantages to using the VA for all treatments and exams involving your service-connected conditions. We go into those advantages more in the article called Should You Use the VA or TRICARE? [link to blog post]

Strategic Veteran Here to Help

If you have other questions about navigating the VA bureaucracy, Strategic Veteran would like to help. We are a Veteran-run company that empowers Veterans to be successful within the VA system. All of our services are free, so call us today at 800-761-9004.