In March 2021, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and President Joe Biden signed it into law. As a result, all copayments for medical care and pharmacy services provided during the period of April 6, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2021, are canceled, along with any fees or interest.

VA wants you to know that supporting your financial well-being is one of our top priorities.

Key facts on how the ARP will impact Veterans:

  • Cancel copayments for medical care and pharmacy services incurred on and after April 6, 2020.
  • No assessment of copayments for medical care and pharmacy through Sept. 30, 2021.
  • VA is working quickly to process those cancellations and refund Veterans who have been making payments on their accounts for medical services received during this period.
  • The mailing of patient statements and collection of copayments for health care and prescriptions will resume on Oct. 1, 2021.

Your VA health care continues

There will be no change in the quality and availability of VA health care during this time. You can schedule appointments and communicate with your providers in the same manner you have been.

If you are concerned about copayments you owe for health care and pharmacy provided prior to April 6, 2020, you an apply for a debt relief program.

For more information on financial relief, Veterans can visit or call the Health Resource Center at 866-400-1238, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.

VA will work with all Veterans who apply for debt relief to determine the best possible solution.

For information on charges owed for care and prescriptions prior to April 6, 2020, debt relief options and/or account number information, Veterans can call the VHA Health Resource Center at 1-866-400-1238.

Resources for Veterans

Non-health debts and overpayments

This blog post excludes separate and exclusive information on non-health benefits debts and overpayments, which are handled by the Debt Management Center (DMC). This blog post duplicates that post, but excludes DMC content, focusing only on fees, copayments and debts on medical care and pharmacy services.

VHA Office of Community Care – Revenue Operations contributed to this story.

Share this story

Published on Apr. 12, 2021

Estimated reading time is 1.9 min.

Views to date: 1,367


  1. Eric J Winningham May 6, 2021 at 6:04 pm

    As I understand it only pharmacy prescription copays are being cancelled. If you pay a copay for medical care that debt is only being suspended through September. You will not need to make a payment until then if you choose to but is not required. if you make a monthly payment for care keep paying monthly to avoid large bill later. you will receive free prescriptions through September, no need to pay for those. Two separate copays and two separate resolutions.

  2. Matt April 29, 2021 at 8:10 am

    The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, includes language that requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to write off all copayments veterans must pay for medical care provided by the agency.

    This legislation moves a temporary suspension on those copayments, first put into place by former president Donald Trump in April 2020, to a permanent reprieve that is scheduled to end in September 2021.

    The New Way to VA
    Free appraisals & can close loans in as little as 14 days. Learn more.
    According to the law, all copayments for medical care provided to veterans through the VA from April 6, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2021, will be waived. The law will write off up to $1 billion in veterans’ medical debt.

    However, executive orders do not carry the full weight of law, and it took the proverbial “act of Congress” to forgive the medical debts fully. This law will forgive all medical debts for care provided to veterans through the VA and repay any veterans who made payments for medical care during the covered time frame.

  3. Patricia Duwel April 26, 2021 at 11:58 am

    It has been 2 months since the VA first said copayments would be refunded. WHEN are they planning on getting started? If the IRS can shoot out the EIP’s within 2 weeks, WHY can’t they help the VA figure out how to reverse ACH and Debit payments??????

  4. Ken Muller April 23, 2021 at 6:03 am

    Where the Hell is my refund? Been wait and waiting. Is the VA out to lunch. ALL Vets should get FREE prescriptions…

  5. Brent Norris April 21, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    So what this means. VA. Send me check. Then in Oct. I get bill for more. Va need to verify it more

  6. Gary Johncox April 19, 2021 at 10:10 am

    The refund of payments made and the suspension or cancellation of payments until October 2021 makes no CENTS. Who wants a big payment that you can’t afford? What is the thinking here?

  7. David B Fossett April 15, 2021 at 10:04 am

    I wish I had something negative to say about the Manchester VA (NH) , but I don’t. Have been using this location for about 10 or 12 years now, Everyone has been very helpful, congenial, and extremely caring.
    I am also a little confused about this “no pay ” at this time regarding co-pay and pharmacy prescriptions; seems like a play on words here. One big bill arriving here in October is not going to be good.

    • Gary Kohfield April 15, 2021 at 11:36 am

      I totally agree with what your saying.
      I called and asked the VA why I haven’t seen any bills
      For medications.
      Oh we stopped billing till the Covid is
      Under control. Then we will send you a bill for everything past due. And this is good WHY??

  8. Michael Duane Garver April 14, 2021 at 7:40 pm

    I don’t want a refund of my payments from April 2020 to September 2021 if they are going to be due on October 1, 2021. All that does is prolong the debt. It offers no benefit. Please explain. Thank you.

  9. Bobbie Hamilton April 14, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    What I read above is a little confusing. Will the copays be cancelled or just postponed that we get between April 6, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2021? I would rather not get a huge bill come Oct.
    Thank you

  10. Denise Fay April 14, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    Copays are not canceled. They are suspended til 10/1/21. Wording of being canceled is confusing as they are not canceled they are just suspended for now

  11. Benjamin Albert April 13, 2021 at 9:58 pm

    My name is Ben Albert I’m in Hershey Pennsylvania I’m going for an increase of my disability to I’m on my way to 10% which ain’t anyting call one 800-827-1000. To Philadelphia Pennsylvania tell them to send the form out to you I believe it’s called a 521b they will send the form with you and a release of medical information that’s what you need to do have them send that to you go without send it back in and they will start the case and that’s why I already did some months ago and that’s the procedure so call that number and they will help you out

  12. Dwayne P Hale April 13, 2021 at 6:13 pm

    If you are a Vietnam veteran you are just out of luck trying to claim a disability for exposure to agent orange. They put it on you to prove that the ailments you suffer from was their fault. I’m suffering from many nerve damage and COPD that us so bad I can’t work to supplement the only income I have which is social security. I was deemed 100% disabled by social security in 2008 and the VA makes it so difficult to file a claim. No one seems to be able to help me except a law firm but I don’t have the funds to hire them.

    • Alma Lee Bolte April 14, 2021 at 11:20 pm

      My high school classmate’s husband had cancer of the sinuses and received great medical care from the Little Rock, AR VA Hospital. In spite of his doctors diagnosis The VA refused to acknowledge that it was Agent Orange related. The excuse given: His personal records did not show him stationed in any area where Agent Orange was used. They was right about the location…….HOWEVER his job was to wash down the planes when they returned to base after an Agent Orange drop….. After several attempts to collect VA disability, he finally received a service connected disability. Keep trying and check all your records– ask all Veteran origination for help.

    • Kira April 14, 2021 at 11:46 pm

      Contact your nearest county Veteran service office with the DAV. They will fe your claim for free.

  13. Donald V Reed April 13, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    Love my Birmingham Alabama VA

  14. George S Shileikis April 13, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    Cancelled or POSTPONED? Last time the VA did this in 2020 I later received a bill for $90 on the past bills for Pharmacy Services. It’s nice IF it is cancelled but postponement does nothing for those with limited funds then as well as later.

    • Donald V Reed April 13, 2021 at 3:28 pm

      I have been completely satisfied with my VA health care since discharge from the Army in 1972. Dedicated, caring, professionals. Birmingham Alabama VA is wonderful.

      • John Branca lll April 15, 2021 at 9:26 am

        U must work for the va!!
        Who do u think ur kidding?!?

    • Alvin P Lyda April 13, 2021 at 5:15 pm

      Been lied to so many times by VA I don’t know what to believe! Postponed or cancelled all together? The way I read the notice looks like we still owe it all come September?

  15. Douglas w peterson April 13, 2021 at 12:54 pm

    I have a 10 per cent va hearing loss, I have hearing aids from the va, over the years my hearing has gotten worse? How do I qualify for increased disability? My disability is service connected.

  16. Bernard Thomas Lofft April 13, 2021 at 11:36 am

    I have been reliant upon VA for several years as I skip from job to job in West Palm Beach, Syracuse, Philadelphia, DC, Baltimore and now in Martinsburg. 32 years Service and USArmy refused me a pension because they lost my records in a fire and declined to reconstruct my history. But VA has been always reliable. Multiple surgeries, heart and kidney disease medicine, and 80th bday next month.

  17. Wayne Battles April 13, 2021 at 9:13 am

    Does this include Reserve Retirees on Tricare? Or strictly those that use the VA?

  18. Lisa Prentice Prentice April 12, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    So even though we don’t have to currently pay copays until October, does that mean all the prior copays will then become due to be paid? Or are they forgiven and you start fresh with billing starting in October?

  19. Sheldon Seymour Altenhaus April 12, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    I wrote my comment and your program erased it. I praised all the efforts Florida VA has shown. You cut them, you find them. I did not use anything that was untrue or salacious! If there are typos, please forgive me. I have not been in a writing frame of mind for at least 25 years past, and as a civilian I was responsible for the production of, at minimum 17 monthly, worldwide magazines. I supplied the Page Film for .some of the “Ziff-Davis” products.

  20. Wayne Strauss April 12, 2021 at 10:53 am

    When will I receive a refund for copays I paid after April 5, 2020?
    Thank you

    • Sheldon Seymour Altenhaus April 12, 2021 at 4:41 pm

      Getting a refund would help very much. My savings are nil and completely tapped. I need my medical coverage and I depend on VA benefits. They have been great since I moved from NY to FL. In NY I could not get the services that are offered here in Florida. Everyone has been standing tall for me, and they have not sent me in front of a firing squad yet. I could no longer afford the medical cares needed in NY, nor the lack of effort shown at the VA Hospitals there. I had a Brother “Pass” in NY VA Hospital. My elder Brother was cared for by Florida VA and he survived to his 90’s. I will be 90 this year and I promise to survive to 120. “Good Lord Willing..”

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • When Army Veteran Rodney Bennett’s medical provider recognized he was food insecure, VA’s homeless program stepped in to help.

  • A claims representative has been assigned to Little Rock VA hospital satellite office to assist Veterans, spouses and survivors with their VA benefits needs.

  • Housebound Veterans are winners when they combine virtual and in-home health care visits. Susan Gallagher receives hybrid care, both virtual and in-person.