VA Health Care:

Comparison of VA Benefits With Other Public and Private Programs

HRD-93-94: Published: Jul 29, 1993. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 1993.


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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO: (1) compared the health care benefits available under major public and private programs; and (2) analyzed the potential effects of existing benefit differences on veterans' use of the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) health care system.

GAO found that: (1) VA has a broader range of covered services than other health benefits programs, but no veteran is currently entitled to the full range of VA services; (2) VA offers some health-related services not generally covered by other programs and places fewer limits on the number and duration of benefits; (3) veterans with dual health care eligibility generally incur lower out-of-pocket costs if they obtain their care from VA; (4) the complex VA entitlement provisions could affect veterans with nonservice-connected disabilities that rely on VA for their health care; and (5) VA hospital care is generally free.

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