The goal for the Veterans Administration (VA) is to provide the Veteran with state-of-the-art care, impeccable service, excellence experience and improved health care. Effective June 6, 2019, the VA Choice Program has changed to the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act (MISSION Act) of 2018. To qualify for a VA contracted community provider that is in network, you will need to receive VA health care benefits through the VA. If the VA medical facility cannot schedule an appointment within 20 days of the date of the request from the provider or 28 days of the date of the request and/or the drive time is longer than 30 minutes for primary care, mental health care, or non-institutional extended care services, or within 60 minutes average driving time for specialty care, you are eligible for community care from a VA community provider that is in network.
The VA offers numerous health care services such as primary care, behavioral health, dental, vision, critical care, physical therapy, oncology, geriatrics, neurology, prescription drugs, surgical services, community-based counseling, outreach, and referral services.
The VA MISSION Act of 2018 has six different eligibilities criteria for community care:
  • You need a service not available at any VA medical facility
  • You live in a U.S. state or territory without a full-service VA medical facility
  • You are “grandfathered” in due the Veteran’s Choice Program
  • VA cannot provide care within certain access standards
  • The VA referring provider and you decide it is in your best interest to receive care from a VA community care provider outside of the VA medical facility
  • VA medical service is not providing the care that complies with VA’s standards for quality
If you are enrolled in VA health care benefits and received care from a VA provider or  VA community provider that is in network within the last 24 months prior to receiving urgent or walk in care, you can go to a VA community provider that is in network and receive care without an authorization.

Eligibility and Application Process

Find a VA location

You can also call 1-877-222-8387 or walk into a VA medical facility and apply.

Additional Resources