HUNTINGTON — Eligible veterans now can access urgent care and walk-in clinics in their communities, thanks to a provision in the newly implemented MISSION Act.

The VA implemented the MISSION Act on June 6, ending the Veterans CHOICE Program. A lesser-known provision of the new law is the establishment of the urgent care benefit, viewed as a step forward in terms of convenience for VA patients, according to administrators of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Huntington, as eligible veterans do not need to get prior authorization from the VA to visit an urgent care provider in VA's network.

This urgent care benefit is meant to give veterans a convenient way to get treatment for minor injuries and illnesses such as colds, strep throat and pink eye.

To be eligible for urgent and walk-in care, veterans must be enrolled in the VA health care system and have received care through VA from either a VA or community provider within the past 24 months.

All military veterans are encouraged to enroll in the VA Health Care System. To begin the process, they must complete an Application for Health Care Benefits. More information on how to register for benefits can be found at https://www.huntington.va.gov/patients/eligibility.asp.

Currently, the following local urgent care clinics are participating:

n MedExpress Urgent Care, 10 Adams Ave., Huntington, WV 25701

n MedExpress Urgent Care, 3120 U.S. 60, Huntington, WV 25705

n MedExpress Urgent Care, 563 W.Va. 34, Hurricane, WV 25526

n Lewis County Primary Care Center Inc., 142 Depot Drive, South Shore, KY 41175

n Lewis County Primary Care Center Inc., 17521 W. Ky. 9, Tollesboro, KY 41189

n Lewis County Primary Care Center Inc., 211 Ky. 59, Vanceburg, KY 41179

n MEDEXPRESS Urgent Care, 1416 MacCorkle Ave. SW, Charleston, WV 25303

n MEDEXPRESS Urgent Care, 5430 MacCorkle Ave. SE, Charleston, WV 25304

n MEDEXPRESS Urgent Care, 4812 MacCorkle Ave. SW, South Charleston, WV 25309

n MEDEXPRESS Urgent Care, 123 Enterprise Drive, Logan, WV 25601

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