Fast Facts on Medicaid and Veterans

Nearly two million U.S. veterans and their families depend on Medicaid to receive quality care, like routine checkups and mental health services. To recognize the role Medicaid plays in the lives of veterans, the Modern Medicaid Alliance is sharing the most important facts you should know. Click here for a downloadable version.

  1. Medicaid covers approximately 875,000, or 10% of, veterans aged 19-64, ensuring they receive health care when and where they need it. [1]
  2. Medicaid is the sole source of health care coverage for about 40% of non-elderly adult veterans covered by the program. [2],[4]
  3. Among veterans enrolled in Medicaid, 54% have a disability, 42% have two or more chronic conditions, 12% have a substance disorder, and 11% have a severe mental illness. Some of these individuals require intensive and continuous care through Medicaid. [1]
  4. VA facilities are often located far from veterans who live in rural areas, and Medicaid allows them to access care close to home. [4],[6]
  5. Between 2013 and 2016, working-age veterans—under the age of 35—experienced the largest decline in their uninsured rates, partly due to Medicaid expansion. [3]
  6. Eligibility for VA assistance can be complex and determined by many factors, including veteran status, service-connected disability status and income level. For veterans unable to receive timely care through the VA, Medicaid offers an easy and reliable coverage option. [3],[5]
  7. Between 2013 and 2016, the greatest increase within Medicaid enrollment was among working-age, lower-income veterans. [3]
  8. Family members of veterans rarely qualify for VA assistance, so they rely on Medicaid for their health care. In 2015, more than 660,000 veterans’ spouses were enrolled in Medicaid. [4]

Full Sources

[1] https://www.kff.org/infographic/medicaids-role-in-covering-veterans/

[2] https://www.kff.org/medicaid/issue-brief/the-role-of-medicaid-and-impact-of-the-medicaid-expansion-for-veterans-experiencing-homelessness/

[3] https://www.census.gov/newsroom/blogs/random-samplings/2017/09/health_insurancecov0.htm 

[4] https://familiesusa.org/product/cutting-medicaid-would-hurt-veterans

[5] http://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/89756/2001230-veterans-saw-broad-coverage-gains-between-2013-and-2015.pdf

[6] https://www.va.gov/vetdata/docs/SpecialReports/Rural_Veterans_ACS2014_FINAL.pdf