The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center is grateful to the men and women who risk their lives to fight terrorism in Afghanistan, Iraq, and many other places around the world. The VA has developed special programs to serve the nation's newest Veterans - the men and women who served in Operations Enduring Freedom & Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) — by assisting them with a smooth transition from active duty to civilian life. VA’s goal is to ensure every seriously injured or ill serviceman and woman returning from combat receives easy access to benefits and world-class service.
VA is ready to provide health care and other medical services to our nation's returning OEF/OIF/OND Servicemembers. The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas has a team ready to welcome OEF/OIF/OND Servicemembers and to help coordinate their care. For more information about the various programs available for recent returning service members, log on to the Returning Servicemembers web site.
Veterans who served in a theater of combat operations also have special eligibility for VA health care. Under the "Combat Veteran" authority VA provides cost-free health care services and nursing home care for conditions possibly related to military service and enrollment in Priority Group 6 or higher for 5 years from the date of discharge or release from active duty, unless eligible for enrollment in a higher priority group.
Combat Veterans who enroll with VA under this enhanced Combat Veteran authority will continue to be enrolled even after their enhanced eligibility period ends, although they may be shifted to Priority Group 7 or 8, depending on their income level, and required to make applicable copays. Additionally, for care not related to combat service, copays may be required depending on their financial assessment and other special eligibility factors.
NOTE: The 5-year enrollment period applicable to these Veterans begins on the discharge or separation date of the service member from active duty military service, or in the case of multiple call-ups, the most recent discharge date.