February 1, 2013
Military veterans and their families are among the Virginians who would benefit from the expansion of Medicaid called for in the Affordable Care Act and currently being considered by the Virginia General Assembly. Contrary to what many assume, veterans and their families often do not have automatic and easy access to Veterans Affairs (VA) health care despite their service to our country.
In this new report, we show that more than 33,000 Virginia veterans, along with their spouses, could gain access to quality, affordable health care coverage — at little cost to the state — if lawmakers do the right thing and approve the expansion
Among the report’s key findings:
- In Virginia, about 34,000 veterans have no insurance and about 17,000 more report having only VA health care.
- About half of all uninsured veterans in Virginia and more than half of all VA only insured veterans could qualify for coverage under Medicaid expansion; meaning they had incomes below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level in 2010 ($26,000 for a family of three).
- About 35 percent of veterans’ family members are uninsured and report incomes below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. That means an additional 7,800 veterans’ family members in Virginia would be eligible for Medicaid, too.