When the health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act opened Oct. 1, veterans were introduced to a slew of new insurance options. 

Writing in a Op-Ed for Dallas Weekly, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson outlined the ways in which the health care overhaul will provide veterans with unprecedented benefits. Although veterans who are currently covered under the VA medical plans do not have to re-enroll in a new health insurance plan, Johnson wrote that the Affordable Care Act offers veterans many health care alternatives. 

"Veterans may also choose to enroll in Marketplace options provided by the Affordable Care Act that could lower the cost of their health insurance," Johnson wrote. "Uninsured spouses of veterans who do not have access to VA benefits can also enter the Marketplace to access quality health insurance with eligibility for financial assistance."

According to Johnson, 1.3 million non-elderly veterans are currently uninsured. Veterans who are uninsured and qualify for Medicaid can receive insurance through the state's Medicaid expansion, which is a new provision under the Affordable Care Act, Johnson stated.

Veterans who are currently uninsured can apply for either VA insurance benefits or marketplace health insurance at any time, according to the VA website.