Getting urgent care at VA or in-network community providers
If you’re an eligible Veteran, you can get urgent care at VA medical centers and in‑network urgent care providers near you. Use urgent care for minor injuries and illnesses that aren’t life-threatening—like strep throat, sprained muscles, and skin and ear infections. Keep reading on this page to find out how to get urgent care.
Eligibility for urgent care
You can get urgent care at VA medical centers and in‑network community providers, if both of these descriptions are true for you:
- You’re a Veteran enrolled in VA health care, and
- You received care at a VA or in-network provider in the past 24 months (2 years)
Note: Your family members can’t use your urgent care benefit.
Covered urgent care services
We cover urgent care services at VA medical centers as well as in-network urgent care centers and walk-in retail health clinics.
These are examples of covered services:
- Care for minor injuries and illnesses (like strep throat, pink eye, sprained muscles, and skin and ear infections)
- Diagnostic services like X-rays and some types of lab tests
- Some types of medicines and vaccines
Note: If you think your life or health is in danger, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
What to bring with you to a community urgent care provider
- A valid, government-issued photo ID, and
- A copy of the VA urgent care assistance card
You can print out a copy of the urgent care assistance card or show the card on your mobile device.
What to do when you arrive at a community urgent care provider
- Confirm that the provider is in our network. Check for a posted sign or ask a staff member. If you go to an out-of-network urgent care provider, you may have to pay the full cost of care. By law, we can’t pay claims for out-of-network providers.
- Fill out the provider’s intake form.
- Tell the provider you want to use your VA urgent care benefit. Show the provider your urgent care assistance card. The provider will call the phone number for your region listed on the card to check your eligibility.
- Don’t pay a copay.
If you need help using your urgent care benefit, call us:
- Call 888-901-6609 if the provider is in Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., or any of these states: AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, VA, VI, VT, WI, or WV.
- Call 866-620-2071 if the provider is in any of these states: AK, AS, AZ, CA, CO, GU, HI, ID, MP, MT, NM, NV, OR, TX, UT, WA, or WY.
Common questions about urgent care
No. Don’t pay anything at the time of your visit. If you have a copay, we’ll send you a bill.
Copays for urgent care are $30 in some cases. Whether you have a copay depends on factors like your priority group and how many times you go to urgent care in a year.
Yes. We pay for up to a 14-day supply of urgent care prescriptions from in-network community pharmacies.
Here’s what to know:
- You must visit an in-network pharmacy in the same state as your urgent care visit. Or you can fill your prescription through VA.
- If your prescription is for a routine medicine or more than a 14-day supply, you must fill it through VA.
- If you fill a prescription at an out-of-network pharmacy, you may have to pay the full cost. You can file a claim to request reimbursement for the cost.
If you need help while at a community pharmacy, call us:
- Call 888-901-6609 if the pharmacy is in Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., or any of these states: AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, VA, VI, VT, WI, or WV.
- Call 866-620-2071 if the pharmacy is in any of these states: AK, AS, AZ, CA, CO, GU, HI, ID, MP, MT, NM, NV, OR, TX, UT, WA, or WY.
We’ll pay you back for the cost of travel if both of these descriptions are true for you.
Both of these must be true:
- You’re eligible for VA travel reimbursement, and
- You travel to get care at a non-VA urgent care location in your community
We base your payment on the one-way distance to the nearest VA health facility or community provider that could have provided the care or service. We pay for only one-way (not round-trip) travel costs for unscheduled care.
No. Urgent care isn’t a replacement for your primary care provider (PCP). And your urgent care benefit doesn’t cover the preventive health services your primary care provider offers.
Use urgent care when you need treatment right away for minor illnesses and injuries. If you think the urgent care provider won’t understand your medical history or medicines, contact your primary care provider.
Contact your nearest VA health facility. All of our VA medical centers offer same-day primary care and mental health services.
If you think your life or health is in danger, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Know that we can only pay for your emergency care under certain conditions.