VA News: Veterans in Crisis Can Visit Any VA or Non-VA Health Facility for Free Emergency Care
As of January 17th, Veterans in acute suicidal crisis can visit VA or non-VA health care facilities for emergency health care at no cost. This includes inpatient or crisis residential care for up to 30 days and outpatient care up to 90 days. Veterans do not need to be enrolled in VA healthcare to use this benefit.
"Veterans in suicidal crisis can now receive the free, world-class emergency health care they deserve - no matter where they need it, when they need it, or whether they're enrolled in VA care," said VA Secretary for Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough. "This expansion of care will save Veterans' lives, and there's nothing more important than that."
Data released by the VA in September shows that for the second year in a row, Veteran suicide declined in 2020 reaching it's lowest point since 2006. The VA views this new policy as a major stepping stone for its 10-year National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide.
The policy allows the VA to:
- Provide, pay for, or reimburse for treatment of eligible individuals’ emergency suicide care, transportation costs, and follow-up care at a VA or non-VA facility for up to 30 days of inpatient care and 90 days of outpatient care.
- Make appropriate referrals for care following the period of emergency suicide care.
- Determine eligibility for other VA services and benefits.
- Refer eligible individuals for appropriate VA programs and benefits following the period of emergency suicide care.
If you are a not a Veteran in acute suicidal crisis, but are a Veteran in crisis or concerned about a loved one, please reach out to the Veterans Crisis Line by dialing 988 and then pressing 1 to connect with a qualified professional. You don't have to be enrolled in VA benefits or health care to connect.