Health & Safety

April 26, 2013

Most TRICARE beneficiaries unaffected by Prime Service Area reductions

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – TRICARE Prime will remain a health care option for 97 percent of approximately 5 million beneficiaries eligible for Prime. The 3 percent difference, comprising about 171,000 beneficiaries, will automatically revert to the TRICARE Standard health care option on Oct. 1, 2013. Those beneficiaries, who mostly reside more than 40 miles from a military clinic or hospital recently received a letter explaining their options and will receive a reminder letter in June or July.

“The first thing TRICARE beneficiaries should know about the reduction in the number of Prime Service Areas is that it doesn’t mean they’re losing their TRICARE benefit,” said Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for Health Affairs. “Next, it’s important to remember this change does not affect most of the more than 5 million people using TRICARE Prime, and none of our active duty members and their families.”

TRICARE is committed to keeping beneficiaries informed about these changes. As a follow-up to the initial notification, a second letter will be mailed in early summer to make sure all affected beneficiaries have the time and information to make important decisions about their future health care options.

The TRICARE website, www.tricare.mil/PSA, has the most current details and gives beneficiaries the option to sign for e-mail updates. A ZIP code tool is available on the site to help beneficiaries determine if they live in an affected PSA.

As always, TRICARE beneficiaries are still covered by TRICARE Standard. For those living within 100 miles of a remaining PSA, re-enrolling in Prime may be an option depending on availability. To do this, beneficiaries must waive their drive-time standards and, possibly, travel long distances for primary and specialty care.

“I urge all impacted beneficiaries to carefully consider their health care options – they should talk them over with family members and their current health care provider,” said Dr. Woodson. “Many beneficiaries may be able to continue with their current provider using the Standard benefit. Being close to your health care team usually offers the best and safest access to care.”

In TRICARE Prime those enrolled are assigned a primary care provider who manages their health care. Retirees pay an annual enrollment fee and have low out of pocket costs under this plan. TRICARE Standard is an open-choice option with no monthly premiums and no need for referrals, but there are cost shares and an annual deductible.

The Department of Defense first planned to reduce the number of PSAs in 2007 when it requested bids for the third generation of regional health care support contracts. The PSAs being eliminated are not close to existing military treatment facilities or Base Realignment and Closure sites. Prolonged protests resulted in a staggered transition and it was decided to keep all PSAs in place until all three contracts were in place. On April 1, 2013, the West region completed its transition.

By eliminating select PSAs, TRICARE and DoD can better control costs while continuing to deliver a high quality health care benefit to all 9.6 million TRICARE beneficiaries.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Ebola

Army researchers look for permanent end to Ebola virus

U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center and U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases researchers, with help from Thermo Fisher Scientific, are using a Q Exactive Plus Mass Spectrometry System and a Dyne...
 
 

Motorcycle safety is not just for May, but for entire year

Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration designates May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month which coincides with the beginning of motorcycle riding season for many Soldiers and also serves as the early kick-off for the annual “101 Critical Days of Summer Safety” program. Motorcycle accidents continue to be a leading cause of accidental death...
 
 

Women’s Health Month celebrated in May

Stand To! As the Army recognizes Women’s Health Month in May, Army Medicine seeks to educate and empower women to make their health a top priority and encourage them to take steps to improve their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Sleep, activity, nutrition, regular checkups and preventive screenings are paramount in improving one’s health....
 

 
PT

Soldiers take tough stance on physical fitness test failures

Spc. Marcus Fitchtl A Soldier assigned to the 8th Military Police Brigade completes a sit-up as part of an Army Physical Fitness Test during the 8th Military Police Brigade’s Best Warrior Competition at Schofield Barracks, Ha...
 
 
National-Bike-Month

May is National Bike Month

Drivers, bicyclists are responsible to share roadways safely City of Sierra Vista May is National Bike Month. It can be a perfect time to enjoy some of Sierra Vista’s shared use paths and mountain bike trails. Fort Huachuca i...
 
 

Delivery nurse drops donut day for Performance Triad

WASHINGTON – Capt. Frances Young used to have doughnut day with her family every weekend. After filling up on donuts with her husband and two children, ages 3 and 4, she said she would get an initial sugar rush and then feel sleepy and crash for the rest of the day. Young, who is the...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin