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Can I choose to get medical care outside of the VA system at VA cost?

Published 11/16/2004 10:03 AM   |    Updated 03/01/2011 10:48 AM
Can I choose to get medical care outside of the VA system at VA cost? Will VA pay for medical services elsewhere?
Generally, no. By law, the VA has to provide care within the VA system. If you meet certain eligibility criteria, VA may be able to pay for routine care you receive in your local community. This is called Fee Basis care. We may authorize you to receive Fee Basis care if we can't provide the medical services you need or if we find that you aren't physically able to travel to our facilities because of your health or the distance you must travel. To learn more about Fee Basis care and whether or not you are eligible, contact the Fee Basis staff at your local facility.