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VA Portland Health Care System

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Become a Patient

All veterans are encouraged to enroll in the VA Health Care System. To begin the process, please complete an Application for Health Care Benefits. You can submit the form online, or you may print the form and mail it to us at:

Portland VA Medical Center
Business Office - Eligibility
3710 SW US Veterans Hospital Rd.
Portland, OR 97239

You can also bring the form to the Medical Center.

Whether mailing or bringing your application, please include the following items —

  • a copy of both sides of your current insurance card (including Medicare or Medicaid)
  • a copy of your DD214, 'Armed Forces Report of Transfer or Discharge'
  • (Purple Heart recipients only) a copy of your award letter if 'Purple Heart' is not noted on your DD214

To speak to someone in our eligibility office, please call (503) 220-8262, ext. 55289
Outside Portland area: (800) 949-1004, ext. 55289.

Basic Eligibility

If you served in the active military, naval or air service and are separated under any condition other than dishonorable, you may qualify for VA health care benefits. Current and former members of the Reserves or National Guard who were called to active duty (other than for training only) by a federal order and completed the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty may be eligible for VA health care as well.

Minimum Duty Requirements

Most Veterans who enlisted after September 7, 1980, or entered active duty after October 16, 1981, must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which they were called to active duty in order to be eligible. This minimum duty requirement may not apply to Veterans who were discharged for a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, discharged for a hardship, or received an “early out.” Since there are a number of other exceptions to the minimum duty requirements, VA encourages all Veterans to apply in order to determine their enrollment eligibility.

Veterans Health Benefits Handbook

VA is producing a personalized “Veterans Health Benefits Handbook” for each Veteran enrolled in the VA health care system. The purpose of the handbook is to provide a current and accurate description of VA health care benefits and services. Your handbook will be tailored specifically to you with personal identifying information and should be safeguarded as you would any other sensitive personal document.

The “Veterans Health Benefits Handbook” includes:

  • Eligibility and health care benefits,
  • Contact information for your local facility,
  • Information regarding copayment responsibilities,
  • Instructions on how to schedule appointments,
  • Guidelines to communicate treatment needs,
  • Patient rights,
  • Ways to obtain copies of medical records, and
  • Other important information.

You will receive your personalized handbook via U.S. mail; therefore, you should have a current address on file with VA. Handbooks are mailed based on Priority Group, beginning with Priority Group 1 and ending with Priority Group 8. For more information, go to www.va.gov/healthbenefits/vhbh. You may also call VA toll-free at 1-877-222-VETS (8387) if you need to update your address or receive additional information.

Health Care Benefits Overview

VA publishes the "Health Care Benefits Overview" booklet, which is designed to provide general information and frequently asked questions about VA’s medical benefits package available for all enrollees, and other information such as eligibility for enrollment.

The publication is available to you at the VA Portland Health Care System, and can be downloaded at http://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/resources/epublications.asp.

The publication is very helpful, and we encourage you to refer to it whenever you have questions about your eligibility for specific health care benefits. Additional assistance is available at the following resources: