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Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center

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Become a Patient

Choose VA for your health care needs. With VA health care, each Veteran's medical benefits package is unique. You can apply for VA health care online from the comfort of your own home.



All TRICARE eligible beneficiaries can enroll online at or call 1-800-444-5445.

Active Duty:  All Active Duty must enroll into TRICARE Prime. 

Active Duty Family Members:  All active duty family members must be enrolled into DEERS (Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System). All TRICARE eligible beneficiaries can enroll online at or call 1-800-444-5445.

Military Retiree and Retiree Family Members:  Retirees and their eligible family members under the age of 65 may enroll in TRICARE Select or Prime. Please visit for fees and payment options.  Retirees and their eligible family members over the age 65 can get more information about TRICARE For Life at

Reservists:  Reservists may utilize the MTF if they are actively on drill status (weekend drill or two weeks active training).  This does not include their family members.  All reservists must have a Line of Duty (LOD) in order to utilize services outside of the Military Treatment Facility if injured during drill weekend or active training.  The LOD can be obtained from the reservist’s drilling medical department.  Reservist family member will be eligible for service at the MTF if the reservist is on orders for more than 30 days and the family members are enrolled into DEERS.


All veterans are encouraged to enroll in the VA Health Care System. Read more about VA Health Benefits.

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:

Captain James A. Lovell
Federal Health Care Center
Patient Administration(136B)
3001 Green Bay Road
North Chicago, Illinois 60064

You can also bring the form to the health care facility. The Eligibility Office is located on the first floor of Bldg 133CA.

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 224-610-3747.

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, were 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 produces a personalized “Veterans Health Benefits Handbook” for each Veteran enrolled in the VA health care system. The handbook provides 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 preferred 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 You may also call VA toll-free at 1-877-222-VETS (8387) if you need to update your address or receive more information.

Health Care Benefits Overview

VA publishes the "Health Care Benefits Overview" booklet, which provides 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 and can be downloaded at

We encourage you to refer to it whenever you have questions about your eligibility for specific health care benefits. More information is available at the following resources: