CHAMPVA Overview

The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) is a health benefits program in which the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) shares the cost of certain health care services and supplies with eligible beneficiaries.

In general the CHAMPVA program covers most health care services and supplies that are medically and psychologically necessary. Upon confirmation of eligibility, you will receive program material that specifically addresses covered and noncovered services and supplies in the form of a CHAMPVA handbook.

To be eligible for CHAMPVA, you cannot be eligible for TRICARE/CHAMPUS and you must be in one of these categories:

  • The spouse or child of a veteran who has been rated permanently and totally disabled for a service-connected disability by a VA regional office, or

  • The surviving spouse or child of a veteran who died from a VA-rated service-connected disability, or

  • The surviving spouse or child of a veteran who was at the time death rated permanently and totally disabled, or

  • The surviving spouse or child of a military member who died in the line of duty, not due to misconduct (in most of these cases, these family members are eligible for TRICARE, not CHAMPVA).

An eligible CHAMPVA sponsor may be entitled to receive medical care through the VA health care system based on his or her own veteran status. Additionally, as the result of a recent policy change, if the eligible CHAMPVA sponsor is the spouse of another eligible CHAMPVA sponsor, both may now be eligible for CHAMPVA benefits. In each instance where the eligible spouse requires medical attention, he or she may choose the VA health care system or coverage under CHAMPVA for his/her health care needs. If you have been previously denied CHAMPVA benefits and you believe you would now be qualified, please submit an application following the guidelines as listed on the "How to apply" section.

CHAMPVA eligibility can be impacted by changes such as marriage, divorce from the sponsor, or eligibility for Medicare or TRICARE. Changes in status should be reported immediately to:

CHAMPVA, ATTN: Eligibility Unit
PO Box 469028
Denver, CO 80246-9028
or call 1-800-733-8387

CHAMPVA and Medicare Work Together

CHAMPVA is always the last payer after Medicare and any other health insurance (OHI). An exception to this is when you reside or travel overseas. When that is the case, if you meet all eligibility criteria, CHAMPVA will be the primary payer (unless you have other health insurance) until you return to the U.S.

More detailed information can be found in the CHAMPVA Handbook, which can be downloaded from the VA CHAMPVA website. (requires PDF Reader).

If you need assistance, there are four ways to contact CHAMPVA:

  • Mail:
    VA Health Administration Center
    CHAMPVA
    PO Box 65023
    Denver, CO 80206-9023
    State the nature of your inquiry, the name of the beneficiary (if you are not the beneficiary), the CHAMPVA Authorization Card number (Social Security Number), and a phone number.

  • Phone: 1-800-733-8387

  • FAX: 1-303-331-7804
    State the nature of your inquiry, the name of the beneficiary (if you are not the beneficiary), and the CHAMPVA Authorization Card number (same as your Social Security Number).

  • E-mail: hac.inq@med.va.gov  
    State the nature of the inquiry and the name of the beneficiary (if you are not the beneficiary).
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