VA to offer no copays for mental health visits for veterans

On Wednesday, the Veterans Administration announced that veterans will not need to pay copays on their first three outpatient mental health care and substance use disorder visits each year through 2027.

The exemption is retroactive to June 27, 2023, and is in effect until December 29, 2027.

Veterans who visited a qualified mental health professional at a VA facility or network provider prior to the announcement will automatically receive a refund for those first three appointments. No action will be required on the veteran’s part.

“We want every Veteran, regardless of their financial status, to have access to the mental health care they deserve—and that’s what this copayment exemption is all about,” Denis McDonough, VA Secretary said. “We are constantly working to expand access to mental health care, and we won’t rest until every veteran has access to care whenever and wherever they need it.”

According to the press release, the VA has hired over 9000 mental health positions that include psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, licensed professional mental health counselors, peer support specialists, mental health nurses, and mental health physician assistants — including 2,000 hires during fiscal year 2024.

The copay exemption benefit is part of the Cleland-Dole Act of 2022. For more information on mental health care at the VA, visit the mental health website.

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