Upcoming events, TRICARE changes announced
(The following is provided as a public service from the Fort Huachuca Retiree Council and was written by Melanie Mouras)
Volunteers needed for World Cardmaking Day
An event for the creative and the not-so-creative, World Cardmaking Day, will be held at 12851 North 19th Avenue in Phoenix on Oct. 6, from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. All cards created will go to “Operation Write Home” veterans in Arizona. All materials are supplied, including a “card hospital” for pre-made cards needing a little “oomph” to make them look better. No experience is necessary, and help will be given to those whose creativity needs a little assistance. Contact Jane at Pinkpigy@aol.com for more information.
Support annual “Arizona StandDown”
The “StandDown” for homeless veterans will be held in March 2013, and by volunteering now as an usher at the Arizona State Fair, people can help. A partnership between the StandDown and the Fairgrounds gives credit for volunteer service in offsetting the fee for renting the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where the StandDown is held. Volunteers receive early entrance to the State Fair and free parking.
If interested, go to www.arizonastanddown.org and click on “Volunteer Opportunities.” Dates for volunteering are Oct. 12 – 14, 17, 20, and 27; and Nov. 1– 4. Times for shifts vary.
TRICARE clarifies West Region service
As UnitedHealthcare takes over the West Region from TriWest Healthcare Alliance on April 1, 2013, beneficiaries should note that their benefits will not change.
Beneficiaries currently using TRICARE civilian healthcare networks will find that most TriWest providers also have agreements with UnitedHealthcare. All beneficiaries in the West Region will receive welcome packages with information from UnitedHealthcare well ahead of the contract transition date.
TRICARE changes overseas claims process
Beneficiaries including residents and travelers using TRICARE overseas must send proof-of-payment with all overseas medical claims. Beneficiaries who pay an overseas provider directly should indicate both this and the amount paid at the top of the medical claim form to ensure the claim is processed quickly and correctly. Proof-of-payment requirements, along with other details of this change, can be found on the TRICARE web site at www.tricare.mil/mediacenter/news.aspx?fid=749.
Walgreens won’t return to TRICARE retail network
Walgreens left the TRICARE retail network when its contract with Express Scripts expired at the end of 2011. It recently announced plans to return to the ESI network, having lost millions in business since the breakup, but ESI’s research has led it to reject those plans. ESI’s decision, based on the lack of complaints, the wide availability of other retail pharmacies, and the increased use of its far-cheaper mail-order pharmacy, indicates its concern that re-admitting Walgreens to its network might actually raise drug prices for TRICARE beneficiaries. As such, ESI will partner with Walgreens on some programs, but will not readmit the chain to its network.
VA offers help to female veterans
Working to better serve women veterans, Joy Ringold is the women veterans coordinator for the Phoenix Regional Office. She is available to assist women veterans, as well as any veteran filing a claim for military sexual trauma. Her telephone number is 1.602.627.3232.
Try our websites of the month
Requesting military records? Veterans who retired before Oct. 1, 2004, must visit the National Personnel Records Center website, www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records, for record request instructions. This includes those requesting military records on behalf of a deceased relative. Veterans who retired after Oct. 1, 2004, can access certain records online by registering for a premium account on www.eBenefits.va.gov. Click the “register” button at the top of the home page and follow the instructions provided to obtain a premium account.