VA changes distance calculation for Veterans Choice eligibility

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Starting today, many veterans may have an easier time getting health care.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it will now determine eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program based on driving distance between a veteran’s place of residence and the nearest VA medical facility rather than the straight-line distance.

The program allows veterans living more than forty miles from a VA facility to get care from any local provider. The VA expects Friday’s change to roughly double the number of eligible veterans.

The mileage calculation for beneficiary travel is also being changed to use the fastest route instead of the shortest route.

Letters are being sent to newly eligible veterans to notify them about the change. Those who don’t receive a Veterans Choice Card or have other questions about the program can call (866) 606-8198. You can also click here to learn more.