Beginning on November 5, 2014, the new Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act gives many veterans the option to receive non-VA health care rather than waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility. Are you eligible for this new choice?
From the VA website, here are the criteria:
- You have been told by your local VA medical facility that you will need to wait more than 30 days from your preferred date or the date medically determined by your physician
- Your current residence is more than 40 miles from the closest VA health care facility
- You need to travel by plane or boat to the VA medical facility closest to your home
- You face a geographic challenge, such as extensive distances around water or other geologic formations, such as mountains, which presents a significant travel hardship
Many of our clients fit the first category. If any of these pertain to you, give the VA a call at: 866-606-8198
But, remember, non-VA care is only covered by the VA for medical needs which have been approved by your VA physician. The VA will schedule an appointment for other medical needs, but will only cover the cost of care related to your VA-approved health needs. So, you still have to work with the VA and your VA physician. But, if the next available appointment is more than 30 days out (see the criteria), you might have a non-VA choice.