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Is my VA doctor and plan acceptable under the new health insurance law?

Published: November 13, 2013

Q: The VA clinic in Zephyrhills serves as my primary doctor. They also provide my prescriptions and fulfill my medical needs. Do I still need to sign up for the health insurance exchange? If not, how can I verify my VA medical so I won’t be accessed a penalty? Glen from Zephyrhills

Answer: The Affordable Care Act mandate that kicks in on Jan. 1 requires most Americans to have health insurance.

A vast majority of the nation — including military veterans who have access to VA health care — are good to go. You already have health insurance and it covers your essential medical and prescription drug needs.

The health exchange exists for people without other access to insurance. The ongoing sign-up period allows them to shop and compare commercial insurance plans available in their community.

Your federal income tax filing for 2014 will be where you will be asked to specifically proclaim your coverage. The Internal Revenue Service hasn’t said yet what that question or questions will look like on the tax form. And they have time, as the reporting won’t take place until tax season in early 2015.