I'm a 100% T&P Vietnam vet. My wife has CHAMPVA. At age 59, she has no other health insurance. Does CHAMPVA have deductibles and co-pay? When she sees a doctor who accepts CHAMPVA, does the doctor file a claim with CHAMPVA or does my wife have to pay the bill first and then file with CHAMPVA for reimbursement?


Jim's Reply:

My wife and I are in your situation. She has used CHAMPVA as her only insurer for years and we're very happy with it.

CHAMPVA health insurance is at once one of the best insurances available and simultaneously the most difficult of the VA's different divisions to deal with. Rather than answering your questions, I think it best to refer you to one or two of the dozens of web sites that CHAMPVA folks have posted to guide and/or confuse you. 

You can start here

for example and then head to

to learn how CHAMPVA pays.

It may be helpful for you to use your Google search engine to look for more of the many bits of info out there that may be helpful. The trick to using CHAMPVA successfully is patience and then some more patience. Phone calls will be put on terminal hold, voice mails will be ignored, faxes will be lost as will certified mail. If you need to call CHAMPVA, get a coffee, find something to distract you while you wait and prepare to sit a while.

Once you accept that it is what it is and that getting angry and wanting the system to respond to you won't help, you'll learn that many providers are happy with the payments, pharmacy is really simple and her choice of physicians is pretty great.

In fact, she now has better access to health care than you do. 

Good luck!




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