Veteran’s Choice Program

If you’re already enrolled in Veteran’s Administration (VA) health care you may be eligible to receive care at Sunshine Community Health Center through the Veteran’s Choice Program. This program allows you to receive health care in your local community instead of waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility and it does NOT impact your existing VA health care, or any other VA benefit.

Care in the local community is only covered by VA for medical needs which have been pre-approved by your VA physician. Appointments for other medical needs can be scheduled, but Veteran’s Choice will only cover the cost of care related to your VA-approved health needs. You must call the Veteran’s Choice Program at 866-606-8198 to obtain pre-authorization prior to your appointment at Sunshine Community Health Center to ensure coverage of services.

Check Your Eligibility

You are eligible if any of these situations apply to you:

  • You have been (or will be) waiting more than 30 days for VA medical care
  • You live more than 40 miles away from a VA medical care facility or face one of several excessive travel burdens.
How Do I Sign Up

To avoid billing problems and ensure your medical visit at Sunshine Community Health Center (SCHC) is covered by the Veteran’s Choice Program, pre-authorization is required. This process may take several days. Please follow these steps prior to your visit at SCHC.

Step 1: Check if you are eligible.

Note: To determine distance eligibility for the Choice Program, VA uses the current address that you have on file with VA. Learn how to update your address.

Step 2:Choose the SCHC location you want to use (Willow or Talkeetna) and your healthcare provider.

Step 3: Make sure you have information on hand about any other health insurance coverage you may have.

Step 4: Schedule an appointment. To schedule a Veterans Choice Program appointment you must call 866-606-8198, NOT Sunshine Community Health Center.

The VA representative can provide you with pre-authorization details by phone for your medical visit at SCHC. Additionally, pre-authorization documents can be faxed to SCHC at (907) 733-1735 prior to your appointment.

If you are a Distance-Eligible VeteranYou live more than 40 miles away from a VA medical care facility with a full-time primary care physician or face one of several excessive travel burdens based on geographic challenges, environmental factors, a medical condition, the nature or frequency of the care needed, and whether an attendant is needed., when you call, you will be asked for:

  • Your first and last name
  • Your full address
  • The name of your healthcare provider at SCHC.

If you are a Wait List-Eligible VeteranA Veteran is told by their local VA medical facility that they will not be able to schedule an appointment for care within 30 days of the date the Veteran’s physician determines he/she needs or wishes to be seen., you will receive a phone call from a VA partner (a non-VA phone number) to help set up your appointment. When you receive this call you will be asked for:

  • Your first and last name
  • Your full address
  • Your date of birth
  • The last 4 digits of your social security number
Additional Program Information
  • The Choice Program does not impact your existing VA health care or any other VA benefit.
  • If you did not receive a Choice Card or if you cannot find your card, please call 1-866-606-8198 to learn more about eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program.
  • Care in the community is only covered by VA for medical needs which have been approved by your VA physician.

Updates and News about VA Health Care Benefits

Registered Veterans are sent personalized mail from the Veteran’s Administration when changes are planned depending on their eligibility, needs, copays, etc. If you’d like to add additional channels for updates you can follow the Alaska VA Facebook page and national VA press release website.

Printable Q & A by Topic

Find answers to questions about Veteran’s Choice eligibility, procedures, covered care and insurance information in this printable 5 page flyer.

Want to speak with someone in person?

Patient Advocates at Sunshine Community Health Center can assist with determining Veteran’s Choice eligibility, covered care, procedures, paperwork and insurance questions. Call (907) 733-2273 to set an appointment in either the Willow or Talkeetna health centers.

Veteran Benefits and Services Q & A

Additionally, the Talkeetna health center hosts representatives from the Veterans Administration every third Friday of the month from 10:00am to 2:00pm.  Attendance is open to Veterans of all branches and eras including Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve components as well as their dependents and survivors.

To ensure a VA representative will be on-site or to set an appointment contact:
Randy Reamer, Outreach Coordinator
Work: 376-4318 randy [dot] reamer [at] va [dot] gov

Services include:
· PTSD Treatment for Combat Veterans
· VA Claims and Education Assistance
· VA Health Care Enrollment
· Basic Needs Assistance and Referrals



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