VA Health offers new urgent care benefit for veterans

Posted at 9:09 PM, Jul 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-18 23:09:15-04

Calling all veterans enrolled in VA Healthcare: getting your urgent care visit covered may have just gotten a whole lot easier.

“We don’t want any veterans not to get the care that they earned the right to get... When you’re sick, you’re sick, and you need to be seen timely," said Stacie Burtis, Chief, Health Administration Service, Boise VA Medical Center.

Veterans can now go straight to their nearest, most convenient, urgent care-- and have the visit covered.

Prior to this, a veteran on VA Healthcare would have had to travel to the Boise VA to get urgent care coverage authorized.

"Veterans are spread out. Very--ya know-- rural areas."

They would sometimes have to drive hours to get a required referral for this coverage.

“Sometimes a provider would want to see them first, or try to get them in to our medical center.”

Now, thanks to the Mission Act, which went into effect in June, as long as they are enrolled in the VA Healthcare system, and it's one of the roughly 35 vendors in the VA's network,
vets can go straight to their nearest urgent care.

“Now the arm of the VA is kind of extending out so they can kind of get that care when they need it," said Burtis.

Before this, veterans would also have to pay a copay for their prescriptions out-of-pocket, and then submit their receipt to get reimbursed later. Now, “they are submitting the bill of that prescription to Triwest-- the vendor is-- so the veteran shouldn’t have to pay a copay picking up that prescription in their local community," said Burtis.

Visit missionact.VA.govto learn more.

Veterans may be able to get similar care at the VA Medical Center and the copayment will likely be lower than in the community.