The VA has announced that is proposing to eliminate copayment requirements for Veterans receiving outpatient mental healthcare who are deemed to be at “high risk” for suicide. Additionally, VA is also reviewing a potential reduction in copayments for mental health medications as well. The changes only apply while the Veteran is deemed at high risk for suicide, but can revert back to original copayments if that determination is changed.
VA has determined through extensive research that those Veterans who attend outpatient mental healthcare appointments tend to reduce their risk of committing suicide. The hope is that by eliminating the financial burden of receiving mental healthcare there will be a significant decrease in instances of suicide in Veterans. Currently, there is no exemption for outpatient care for Veterans at risk of suicide. Copayments for these appointments typically cost between $15 and $50 per visit. VA hopes that the proposed exemptions will be enacted and provide greater access to mental healthcare for all Veterans without the financial burden or stress typically associated with doctor visits.