Veterans Without VA Health Care Eligible For Medicaid Through Obamacare

Esther Bergdahl | Medill Reports: Chicago | June 5, 2013

When Daniel Cruz left the U.S. Marine Corps in August 2006, he became one of thousands of Illinois veterans without health insurance, despite being eligible for coverage through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“I never went to the VA afterwards,” Cruz, 29, of Chicago, said. “I got unemployment, and that was my benefit. I didn't know any better.”

More than half a million uninsured veterans could start receiving health care when Medicaid expansions that are part of the Affordable Care Act kick in next year, even though many of them also qualify for treatment through the VA system. Nationally, 1.3 million nonelderly veterans have no health insurance.