The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2008 was signed by President Bush on January 28, 2008. This Act extends the period of enhanced health care eligibility provided a Veteran who served in a theater of combat operations after November 11, 1998, (commonly referred to as combat Veterans or OEF/OIF/OND Veterans) as follows:
Currently enrolled combat Veterans and new enrollees who were discharged from active duty on or after January 28, 2003 and who served in a combat zone or hazard duty zone, are eligible for the enhanced benefits for 5 years post discharge.
As before, Veterans enrolling under the "Combat Veteran" authority may be assigned to Priority Group 6, unless eligible for a higher Priority Group, and may not be charged copays for medication and/or treatment of conditions that are possibly related to their combat service. These veterans are not required to disclose their income information, but may do so to determine their eligibility for a higher priority, beneficiary travel benefits and exemption of copays for care unrelated to their military service.
Veterans who enroll with VA under this authority will continue to be enrolled even after their enhanced eligibility period ends. At the end of their enhanced eligibility period, Veterans enrolled in Priority Group 6 may be shifted to Priority Group 7 or 8, depending on their income level, and required to make applicable copays.
Veterans may assist VA in establishing their status as a combat Veteran by providing one of the following when they apply for care:
• Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD 214) indicating service in a theater of combat operations
• Proof of receipt of the Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Air Force Combat Action Medal (AFCAM); Kosovo Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (does not include Global War on Terrorism Service Medal); or Southwest Asia Campaign Medal.
• Proof of receipt of Hostile Fire or Imminent Danger Pay (commonly referred to as "combat pay") after November 11, 1998
• Proof of exemption of Federal tax status for Hostile Fire or Imminent Danger Pay after November 11, 1998.
For more information, see the Combat Veteran Eligibility Fact Sheet. To contact the OEF/OIF/OND Team at the Richmond VA Medical Center contact Lynn P. Anderson, LCSW OEF/OIF/OND Program Manager (804) 675-6494, or Jose Illa Transition Patient Advocate (804) 675-6266.