As of April 3, American Indians and Alaska Native Veterans living in Phoenix and surrounding areas will not be required to make copayments for either urgent care or health care provided by the VA.
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that these Veterans are no longer required to make copayments, which is estimated to impact approximately 25,000 American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans nationwide. In Arizona there are more than 10,000 American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans; however, many are not enrolled with Veterans Affairs.
"We have been focused on making strides to continue to provide better opportunities for care to our American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans who live in the Phoenix area and surrounding rural cities and communities,” said Bryan Matthews, Executive Director for the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System. “I'm pleased that we are continuing that process by making care for these Veterans more affordable and accessible.”
Under this new policy, VA will reimburse copayments paid on or after Jan. 5, 2022, and it will waive future copayments for eligible American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans.
Starting on April 4, Veterans can submit documentation to qualify for the copayment exemption. Eligible Veterans include any Veteran who meets the definitions of “Indian” or “urban Indian” under the Indian Health Care Improvement Act – including Veterans who are members of an American Indian Tribe, certain Veterans who are descendants of Tribe members, Alaska Native Veterans, and more.
“American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans deserve access to world-class health care for their courageous service to our nation,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough.
To receive this financial relief, eligible Veterans should mail 1) a completed VA Tribal Documentation Form (VA Form 10-334), and 2) a copy of official tribal documentation demonstrating that they meet the definitions of “Indian” or “urban Indian” to PO Box 5100, Janesville, WI 53547. For more information on copayment waivers for Native American and Alaska Native Veterans, visit here.
VA posted a final rule for public inspection in the Federal Register today establishing the waiver and process for Veterans to submit documentation to have their VA copays waived. This rule implements Section 3002 of the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 Public Law 116-315 (pdf), signed into law Jan. 5, 2021.
Learn more about copayment exemptions for Native American and Alaska Native Veterans and VA benefits and programs for American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans.