But as I understand it, VA benefits are applied to all veterans -- which generally requires you to go to a VA hospital for treatment; and there are other restrictions and constant eligibility reviews.
For the most part, you're right. If your income is low enough, there's no copay. If you have a service-connected disability, any treatments, medications or equipment needed to treat that condition are free, regardless of your income. (My hearing loss is 0%, but my hearing aids and batteries are provided at no charge.) And, I have a card in my wallet that confirms my right to go to an outside practitioner and charge the VA if the distance to the nearest facility is too large or the wait time for an appointment is too long. I've not needed it yet, but it's good to know I have it. Among other things, I'm now diabetic. I've woken up in four different ERs in the fifteen years since I was diagnosed, all because of low blood sugar, and all I've ever had to do is give them my VA info, and the bill's been covered, 100% Yes, there are problems at some VA facilities but I've never run across them, nor have any of my friends. And, with that new card that I mentioned above, there should be far fewer cases as time goes on, which is exactly what it's for.