Characteristics and Health Care Expenditures of Veterans Affairs Health System Users

MEPS Statistical Brief 508

Characteristics and Health Care Expenditures of VA Health System Users versus Other Veterans, a statistical brief from the Household Component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, uses data to compare various demographic characteristics, health insurance status, and health expenditures of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to other veterans who received only care that was not covered by the VA.

In general, eligibility for VA-covered health care requires that a veteran have served in the military for at least 24 months, received an honorable discharge, and met certain criteria with respect to service-connected disability rating, income, and other factors.

Highlights

  • VA users were more likely than non-VA users to be elderly, non-Hispanic black, lower income, in poorer health, and live in nonmetropolitan areas.
  • Among veterans with medical expenses in 2014-15, mean annual total health care expenditures per veteran were about 65 percent higher for VA users than non-VA users.
  • The proportion of total expenditures that was attributable to hospital inpatient stays was higher for VA users than non-VA users.
  • In 2014–15, the VA paid for one-third of aggregate expenditures for VA users. While Medicare paid for similar proportions of expenses for both VA users and non-VA users, higher portions of non-VA users’ expenditures were paid out of pocket or by private insurance.
  • In 2014–15, the VA paid for one-third of aggregate expenditures for VA users. While Medicare paid for similar proportions of expenses for both VA users and non-VA users, higher portions of non-VA users’ expenditures were paid out of pocket or by private insurance.

Select to access Characteristics and Health Care Expenditures of VA Health System Users versus Other Veterans.

Page last reviewed February 2018
Page originally created February 2018
Internet Citation: Characteristics and Health Care Expenditures of Veterans Affairs Health System Users. Content last reviewed February 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/veterans-admin-health-care-expenditures.html