Veterans may be eligible to receive care from a provider outside of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in their community when VA cannot provide the care that is needed. This type of care is known as "community care," and is paid for by VA. Although some changes occurred with community care recently, Veterans continue to have access to this type of care.
The process starts at your VA medical facility. Follow these steps to see if you're eligible:
1. Go to VA
• Schedule an appointment with a VA provider.
• Your VA care team will work with you to see if you are eligible for community care.
• Eligibility is based on your medical needs, care that is available at VA, and other requirements.
• Important: Make sure VA confirms you are eligible and authorized before you proceed to the next step.
2. Make an appointment
• VA will work with you to find a community provider and make an appointment.
• You can select a community provider, or VA can select one for you.
• Important: The community provider selected must be in VA's network and be willing to accept payment from VA.
3. Receive Care
• Arrive promptly for your appointment.
• Important: If you need to schedule a follow-up appointment, check with your community provider to make sure VA authorized the care. If VA did not authorize the care, your community provider should contact VA to arrange the care you need.
If you have questions about your specific circumstances, contact your nearest VA medical
Call VA community care at (866) 606-8198 for questions about the Veterans Choice Program
Call the VA Adverse Credit Helpline at (877) 881-7618 for help to resolve adverse credit
reporting and debt collection issues from using the Veterans Choice Program. (Source: The Rural Connection Office of Rural Health Fall 2018)