Returning Service Members - Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

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Returning Service Members

Welcome Home OEF/OIF/OND Veterans! Thank you for your service.

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The Department of Veterans Affairs has worked with the Department of Defense (DoD) to make your transition from military life to civilian life as easy as possible. The staff, volunteers, and stakeholders at Bay Pines VA Healthcare System are committed to providing you with the health care you need and deserve.

Enrollment and Eligibility

Combat veterans receive an exemption from copays (regardless of income level) for conditions possibly related to combat military service during the five year post discharge period. After the two years you may be responsible for a copay but this depends on whether your illness or injury is found to be service-connected. All veterans are encouraged to enroll in the VA Health Care System. To begin the process, please complete an Application for Health Care Benefits. Please feel free to contact our Eligibility Office at (727) 398-6661 or the OEF/OIF/OND Program Office at the contact numbers in the right column. 

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Special Eligibility and Coordination of Care for Combat Veterans Serving in Combat Theater After 11/11/1998- Returning Servicemembers (OEF/OIF/OND)

The Post-9/11 Transition and Care Management Program offers transitional assistance, case management and outreach services to all Veterans who have served after September 11, 2001 in their transition to civilian life. For more information about the various programs available for recent returning service members, log on to the Returning Servicemembers web site.

Veterans who served in a theater of combat operations also have special eligibility for VA health care. Under the "Combat Veteran" authority VA provides cost-free health care services and nursing home care for conditions possibly related to military service and enrollment in Priority Group 6 or higher for 5 years from the date of discharge or release from active duty, unless eligible for enrollment in a higher priority group.

Combat Veterans who enroll with VA under this enhanced Combat Veteran authority will continue to be enrolled even after their enhanced eligibility period ends, although they may be shifted to Priority Group 7 or 8, depending on their income level, and required to make applicable copays. Additionally, for care not related to combat service, copays may be required depending on their financial assessment and other special eligibility factors.

NOTE: The 5-year enrollment period applicable to these Veterans begins on the discharge or separation date of the service member from active duty military service, or in the case of multiple call-ups, the most recent discharge date.


Kimberlee Bridges, LCSW
Transition Care Management Program Manager
727-398-6661 Ext. 17541

Fred Liggett
TCM Transitional Patient Advocate
727-398-6661 Ext. 15893