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January 14, 2022

Proposed Rule to Help Combat Veteran Suicide

On January 4, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published a proposed rule that would modify copayments for veterans at high risk for suicide. Currently, these veterans have to pay a $15 or $50 copayment for each outpatient visit.  This proposed rule would ease the financial burden these veterans face by eliminating copayment for outpatient treatment and reducing copayment for medications, thus removing a potential barrier to distressed veterans who require immediate assistance.  Suicide prevention is a key focus of VA and White House leadership; from 2017-2019, the overall veteran suicide rate decreased. However, this rate is still almost double the rate of the American public. The VA requested public feedback for this proposed rule; the comment period ends March 7.