NW PA Counties graphicThe Northwest Pennsylvania (NW PA) Veteran Suicide Prevention Program operates on a three-pronged approach involving healthcare providers, community organizations, and Veterans and their families in the 15 counties of NW PA. Because of this focus, we want to share this recent story by VA about expansions to VA’s CHAMPVA health coverage. As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, the inclusion of mental health and substance recovery services for CHAMPVA participants is especially appreciated.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with someone about publicizing the NW PA Veteran Suicide Prevention Program in your community, please reach out to us.

Read time: 3 minutes

View the original article on VA’s website

VA to expand health care coverage to Veteran family members and caregivers through CHAMPVA

champva expansionCurrently, there are more than 737,500 CHAMPVA beneficiaries. CHAMPVA is a health care program for certain spouses, surviving spouses, children and primary family caregivers of eligible Veterans. Through CHAMPVA, VA shares the cost of medically necessary health care services and supplies with eligible beneficiaries. This includes mental health services, inpatient and outpatient services, prescription medications, transplants, ambulatory surgery, family planning and maternity care, and more.

VA will soon expand coverage for medical services, including mental health care, for family members and primary family caregivers participating in the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA). Starting at the end of May, these beneficiaries will have new coverage for audio-only telehealth, extended mental health care and contraceptive services.

young familyHere’s what this means for CHAMPVA beneficiaries:

  • Access to audio-only telehealth. With audio-only telehealth coverage, beneficiaries will have expanded access to care, which is particularly important for rural beneficiaries. The coverage will also be retroactive; providers and beneficiaries who received audio-only telehealth services on or after May 12, 2020, will have until Nov. 26, 2024, to file claims for reimbursement of covered care.
  • Elimination of caps on visits for mental health and substance use visits. CHAMPVA beneficiaries will no longer be limited in the number of visits for mental health and substance abuse services. Additionally, beneficiaries and providers will no longer need pre-authorizations for outpatient mental health visits in excess of 23 visits per calendar year and/or for more than two sessions per week.
  • Eliminating deductibles and cost sharing for certain necessary contraceptive services. VA is also eliminating deductibles and cost sharing for contraceptive services or contraceptive products approved, cleared or granted by the Food and Drug Administration.

“Our mission is to provide world-class care to our nation’s heroes, which includes care provided through CHAMPVA to eligible family members and caregivers of Veterans,” said VA Under Secretary for Health Shereef Elnahal. “The extension of these additional services is part of VA’s continuing efforts to ensure CHAMPVA beneficiaries can access high value care where they need it, when they need it.”

To learn more and apply for CHAMPVA care today, visit our CHAMPVA website

Looking to Get Involved?

friends standing togetherWhether you identify as a healthcare provider, community organization, or Veteran, there are several opportunities through the NW PA Veteran Suicide Prevention Program and PERU to connect to resources, participate in educational training, and promote harm reduction strategies. We are actively recruiting healthcare and community partners to work with us in meeting our goals and objectives. To learn more, visit the program website at theresilientveteran.org.

Need Help? Know Someone Who Does? Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or use the online Lifeline Crisis Chat. Both are free and confidential. You’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor in your area.


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