Sorry for the long title. I couldn’t think of a shorter way to say it.
I’m often asked about health care for family members of veterans. Unfortunately, family members are mostly excluded from care at a VA health care facility unless the family member is a veteran. There are a few exceptions to this exclusion.
A recent directive, VHA Directive 2012-006, stipulates that non-Veteran family members may receive health care services at VA facilities under certain circumstances. Most notable are family members of a DOD Servicemember. When a Servicemember is referred to a VA health care facility, the director of the VA facility is responsible for ensuring appropriate care and services are provided to the family member.
In order for a family member to be eligible for care, the Servicemember had to be referred to the VA for their care. Emergent or urgent care if the family member who is accompanying the Servicemember if they are in need of humanitarian emergency care.
If the family member is in need of routine care, if the VA has space available, the VA must have approval from the Servicemember’s military treatment facility, the TRICARE Regional Managed Care Support Contractors, TRICARE Service Centers, or Military Medical Support Office. If these offices do not approve the request, or authorization, the VA is basically prohibited from providing the family member routine care.
There are other situations when family members may receive care at a VA facility. The best example are family members who are entitled to CHAMPVA. Some VA facilities take part in CHAMPVA In-house Treatment Initiative (CITI). This is a voluntary program for VA medical facilities. Under the CITI program, family members receive care at no cost. You read that right; no cost. Zero. Zilch. Zip. Nada.