Copays not required by veterans for first three outpatient mental health visits through 2027

Copays not required by veterans for first three outpatient mental health visits through 2027

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced that veterans no longer need to pay copays for their first three outpatient mental health care and substance use visits through 2027. This copayment exemption dates back from June 27, 2023, and by law will end Dec. 29, 2027. The benefit will provide veterans with better access to mental health services and lower out-of-pocket expenses.

For veterans to be eligible for this copayment exemption, the outpatient visit must be with a qualified mental health professional at VA or have been provided through VA’s network of community care providers. If eligible, the VA will automatically refund veterans for any copays paid to VA on or after June 27, 2023, for these appointments. No action is required by veterans.  

“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,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “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.”

VA also released a new suicide prevention policy in 2023 that allows eligible veterans and certain former servicemembers in acute suicidal crisis to go to any VA or non-VA emergency facility for no-cost emergency healthcare. More than 60,000 veterans and former servicemembers have benefited from this lifesaving care. Additionally, because eligible veterans do not need to be enrolled in the VA system or go to a VA to use this benefit, nine million veterans have had access to emergent suicide care at no cost.

Visit the VA’s mental health website here for more information. 

Learn more about the copay exemption benefit for veterans, which is part of the Cleland-Dole Act of 2022, here.