The Veterans Choice Program

The Veterans Choice Program is designed to furnish timely medical care to veterans through non-VA facilities. The veteran may select a specific non-VA health care provider, or VA will refer the veteran to a specific provider. Veterans are liable for any VA copayments required. In order for a veteran to be eligible to participate in this program, he or she must be enrolled in the VA health care system and satisfy at least one of the following requirements:

  1. the Veteran has attempted to schedule an appointment with a VA health care provider, but the VA is unable to schedule a timely appointment for the veteran (generally 30 days from either the date the appointment is determined to be “clinically appropriate,” or 30 days from the date the veteran prefers to be seen for services);
  2. the veteran’s residence is more than 40 miles from the VA medical facility that is closest to the veteran’s residence;
  3. the veteran’s residence is both in a state without a VA medical facility that provides hospital care, emergency medical services, and surgical care, and more than 20 miles from a VA medical facility in another state; or
  4. the veteran’s residence is in a location other than Guam, American Samoa, or the Philippines; is 40 miles or less from a VA medical facility; and the veteran must travel by air, boat, or ferry; or faces an unusual or excessive burden in traveling to such a VA facility based on geography.

The VA will not reimburse veterans for visits to a non-VA health care provider with Veterans Choice Program funds if the veteran does not seek prior authorization.