WASHINGTON — In coming months, when veterans are trying to decide whether to go to a Veterans Affairs hospital or a private doctor for their check-up, they may opt for a trip to Walmart instead.

Department officials on Thursday announced a series of new telehealth partnerships designed to dramatically expand their current remote care offerings, to include online exam rooms in Walmarts, American Legion posts and Veterans of Foreign War hangouts centered in rural areas across the country.

At the same time, officials from T-Mobile announced they’ll make use of VA’s video health apps free of charge for mobile customers around the country, potentially eliminating a cost barrier to veterans who want to access the department’s telemedicine offerings.