Starting Tuesday, January 17, U.S. military veterans in a suicidal crisis will be eligible for free care at any VA or private facility.
Unlike for most other medical benefits, veterans do not have to be enrolled in the VA system to be eligible.
More than 18 million veterans could be eligible.
NBC News Reports: The VA reported that 6,146 veterans died by suicide in 2020, or an average of 16.8 per day. While that number was 343 fewer than in 2019, suicide and veterans in crisis remain the VA’s top clinical priority. Roughly 5,000 veterans are hospitalized in acute psychiatric units every month, generally at imminent risk for harm, said Cliff Smith, the director of analytics, innovation and collaboration within VA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. “There have been a lot of situations where we know a veteran is in crisis somewhere but they’re not at the hospital,” Smith said. “There were many situations where we knew there was a need, but because of financial concerns we weren’t able to connect that need to a facility.
“We are addressing the anxiety associated with a bill or cost. That’s off the table,” Smith said, calling the new policy “hopefully life-changing for many veterans.”
The new policy was required by a law passed in 2020 and signed by then-President Donald Trump called the Veterans Comprehensive Prevention, Access to Care, and Treatment (COMPACT) Act of 2020.
How to Access the Free Care
If you are considering suicide, go to any Emergency Room in the United States. Tell them that you are a veteran and that the VA will pay for your bill. They will take care of the rest. Never hesitate to get the help that you need if you are considering suicide. The medical costs for you will now be covered thanks to a policy that President Trump signed into law that we are finally seeing implemented. Get the help that you need. Do not hesitate.