YOU ASK:

Does the Veterans Administration (VA) insurance cover dental?

WE ANSWER:

Yes, the Veterans Administration (VA) insurance covers dental treatments but only for:

  • Necessary treatment when the patient's health is threatened by the dental problem.
  • Any dental disabilities that arise from injuries while on duty (such as combat or service-related wounds).
  • Any dental disabilities or conditions after they have been prisoners of war.
  • Dental treatments done for dental conditions that will negatively affect an illness, injury or disability caused during their active service.
  • Dental conditions that are connected to their military service and when the treatment for the condition was given within 90 days after the veterans were released from active duty or discharge. By active duty, this means not lower than 180 days (or, for those who served during the Persian Gulf War for not lesser than 90 days).
  • Dental treatments given to veterans who are homeless or in rehabilitation.

Dental treatments that are routine and for the purpose of ensuring one's general dental health are excluded. These treatments include:

  • Routine dental checkups
  • Dental fillings
  • Dental cleanings
  • X-rays

The new healthcare reform bill has assigned the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to study the feasibility of offering and selling dental insurance to the nation's veterans. The new dental insurance offering will be offered to the veterans and their beneficiaries on a voluntary basis. Those who opt to avail of the insurance will be charged with premiums. The premiums are intended to cover the costs of administering the insurance program, including the accreditation of dentists who will provide the services for the covered patients.

The benefits will include:

  • Preventive care and treatment
  • Diagnostic services (x-rays, check-ups)
  • Emergency services
  • Surgical services

For a veteran to be eligible, he must have been on active duty before September 7, 1980. Those who served after this date but before October 16, 981, are required to complete 24 months of continued service on active duty.

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