The VA health care program offers medical benefits to United States military veterans at little to no cost. Through VA health care, veterans with mesothelioma can receive top medical treatment. Our team can help you file for mesothelioma VA health care benefits right now.
Using VA Health Care for Mesothelioma Treatment
Health care is one of the most important VA benefits available to veterans with mesothelioma.
VA health care was set up so veterans can get quality, affordable medical services. Upon discharge from the military, veterans can apply for enrollment, and if they meet certain criteria, they qualify for this benefit.
VA health care may cover mesothelioma treatment, health services, and prescriptions, which can otherwise be expensive.
Other health resources covered by VA health care include:
- Home health care and elder care
- Medical equipment
- Mental health services
- Primary care
- Specialty care
Through VA health care, veterans can access mesothelioma doctors and services that rival those covered by private health insurance.
For example, veterans with mesothelioma have access to some of the world’s best mesothelioma doctors through the VA health care system. Dr. Robert B. Cameron, for example, has extensive experience diagnosing and treating mesothelioma and has worked with the VA since 1998.
See if you can file for VA health care and other benefits right now with help from fellow veterans.
VA Health Care Programs for Mesothelioma Patients
VA health care facilities include cancer centers across the country that employ experienced mesothelioma specialists.
West Los Angeles VA Medical Center
Dr. Robert B. Cameron works at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, which provides some of the world’s best health care for veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Dr. Robert B. Cameron leads the West Los Angeles VA's mesothelioma treatment program, and he is considered one of the top doctors currently treating this cancer. Notably, he developed the pleurectomy with decortication (P/D) surgical procedure, which removes pleural mesothelioma tumors while sparing both lungs.
At this medical center, veterans have access to treatment options that are both meant to extend a patient’s life and provide symptom relief (palliative treatment).
Treatment options available at this medical center include:
- Pleurectomy with decortication
- Radiation therapy
The West Los Angeles VA Medical Center also specializes in treating the particularly aggressive sarcomatoid mesothelioma cell type.
To make an appointment with the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center:
- Call: (310) 478-3711
- Visit in person: 11301 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90073-1003
VA Boston Healthcare System
The VA Boston Healthcare System is known for its treatment of mesothelioma at all stages and its specialized care team.
Treatments and services available at this medical center include:
- Extrapleural pneumonectomy
- Pleurectomy with decortication
- Radiation therapy
- End-of-life care
To make an appointment with the VA Boston Healthcare System:
- Call: (800) 865-3384
- Visit in person: 1400 VFW Parkway, West Roxbury, MA 02132-4927
Applying for VA Health Care
To apply for VA health care, veterans must fill out an application and submit it through the VA website, by mail, or by dropping it off at a local VA clinic or medical center in person.
As of 2023, it typically takes less than 1 week for the VA to determine if you can receive VA health care after applying.
For more information on applying for VA health care, contact our team today. We can help you get benefits if you qualify.
Who Is Eligible for VA Health Care?
To access health care benefits, veterans must meet certain eligibility requirements.
VA health care eligibility requirements include:
- Service in the military without being dishonorably discharged
- Enlistment after September 7, 1980, or beginning active duty after October 16, 1981
- 24 continuous months of service or the full period in which one was called to active duty
The last eligibility requirement listed above may not apply if the veteran was discharged for a disability that occurred or got worse during active service, or if they were discharged for a hardship or early-out.
Further, those who served in the National Guard or Reserves may also qualify if they were called to active duty by a federal order for reasons other than training and served the full period.
Finally, many veterans with mesothelioma may have the current requirements waived if they served before September 7, 1980.
This is important as many veterans fighting mesothelioma served prior to the 1980s when military asbestos use was rampant. Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma.
How Can I Get Help When Applying For VA Health Care?
Applying for VA health care can seem complicated, but there are many free resources for veterans who need help with their health care application.
You can get help by:
- Connecting with the Mesothelioma Veterans Center: Our team can help you file for mesothelioma VA health care and other benefits. Call (877) 450-8973 or click to chat with us now.
- Working with the VA: Reach out to the VA for additional help filling out your application.
- Working with a veterans service organization: Organizations such as the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars have offices across the country with teams who can help with paperwork.
VA Health Care Priority Groups
When you apply for VA health care, you will be assigned a priority group. Priority groups are a way to categorize the levels of care needed by a veteran. This system helps veterans who need urgent care receive it as soon as possible.
There are eight priority groups, with group 1 being the highest priority and group 8 the lowest. Mesothelioma is a life-threatening illness and is considered a total disability by the VA, so mesothelioma patients are often assigned to group 1.
Access VA Health Care and Other Benefits
The VA Health Care System was set up so veterans can get quality, affordable health information and treatment.
Former service members diagnosed with mesothelioma can get help accessing VA health care and other veterans benefits by contacting the Mesothelioma Veterans Center.
Get a free Mesothelioma Veterans Packet today to learn how our team can help you apply for VA benefits and other forms of compensation.
Common Questions About VA Health Care for Mesothelioma
Is there an income limit for VA health care?
Yes, there is an income limit, but it may not affect you if you have mesothelioma.
The VA uses income limits to determine if you have to pay copays (and if so, how much). Those in priority group 1 usually don’t have to pay any copays for inpatient care or medications regardless of their income limit.
You may fall into this category if you have mesothelioma.
How much does VA health care cost?
Veterans who developed mesothelioma due to proven military asbestos exposure do not have VA health care or treatment costs, in most cases.
Further, even veterans whose mesothelioma is not deemed a service-related injury can often access affordable care through VA health benefits.
They can also use other forms of health insurance (including private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE) along with their VA health care benefits.
There may be copays for some health care services, which most often begin on the 22nd day of care over a 12-month period. Services that require a copay may include stays in a community living center or respite care, for example.
Can I seek care from non-VA health care providers?
Yes. In some cases, you can seek non-VA health care through the VA's community care program. The VA will cover the costs of the care services that are provided.
This program might allow you to access health services from care providers and other doctors closer to home if you live far from the mesothelioma VA centers in Los Angeles or Boston.
Can I lose my VA health care benefits?
If you have mesothelioma and are rated high priority, it is highly unlikely you will lose your medical benefits.