Eligible Veterans will have expanded access to medical care outside Department of Veterans Affairs facilities beginning Thursday June 6th, 2019. The law was signed in 2018 but is just now going into effect.
The VA will pay for Eligible Veterans to go to outside non-VA doctors under the following conditions:
- if they have to wait longer than 20 days for an appointment
- if they have to drive more than 30 minutes for primary or mental healthcare at a VA facility
- For specialty care, they can see private doctors at VA expense if they have to wait longer than 28 days or drive more than an hour to see a VA provider
This is an improvement over the previous rules and aims to allow for better and faster healthcare for Eligible Veterans.
The rules going into effect also allow Eligible Veterans to go to non-VA urgent care clinics at VA expense without prior approval, though they may have to pay a co-payment.