Beginning Tuesday, U.S. military veterans who find themselves in suicidal crisis will be eligible for free emergency medical care at any Department of Veterans Affairs facility or any private facility.
Unlike for most other medical benefits, veterans do not have to be enrolled in the VA system to be eligible.
The new policy, which the VA will announce Friday, will include up to 30 days of inpatient or crisis residential care and up to 90 days of follow-on outpatient care.
The VA already provides emergency suicide care, but with the new benefit, veterans will not have to pay any copays or fees for their care.
If the veterans receive care at a private facility rather than at a VA facility, the government will cover the costs.
The VA has about 9 million veterans enrolled in medical care and an estimated 9 million more who are not enrolled and are potentially eligible for care.
While that number was 343 fewer than in 2019, suicide and veterans in crisis remain the VA’s top clinical priority. »