Air Force

April 12, 2013

Reductions won’t affect most TRICARE prime beneficiaries

Military Health System News Release

FALLS CHURCH, Va.,– Despite upcoming service area reductions, TRICARE Prime will remain a health care option for 97 percent of the more than 5 million beneficiaries eligible for the health care plan, Military Health System officials said.

The 3 percent difference that comprises about 171,000 beneficiaries who mostly reside more than 40 miles from a military clinic or hospital, automatically will revert to the TRICARE Standard health care option Oct. 1, officials said.

Those beneficiaries recently received a letter explaining their options and they 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 [it affects] none of our active duty members and their families.”

As a follow-up to the initial notification, he noted, 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 has the most current details at http://www.tricare.mil/PSA and gives beneficiaries the option to sign up for email updates. A ZIP code tool is available on the site to help beneficiaries determine if they live in an affected Prime service area.

As always, officials said, TRICARE beneficiaries still are covered by TRICARE Standard. For those living within 100 miles of a remaining Prime service area, they added, re-enrolling in Prime may be an option, depending on availability. To do this, beneficiaries must waive their drive-time standards and possibly would need to 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,” Woodson said. “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.

Defense Department officials first planned to reduce the number of Prime service areas in 2007, when it requested bids for the third generation of regional health care support contracts. The areas being eliminated were not close to existing military treatment facilities or sites affected by base realignments and closures. Prolonged protests resulted in a staggered transition, officials said and the decision was made to keep all Prime service areas in place until all three contracts were in place. The West region completed its transition April 1.

Eliminating select Prime service areas allows TRICARE and the Defense Department to better control costs while continuing to deliver a high-quality health care benefit to all 9.6 million TRICARE beneficiaries, officials said.




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


 
 

 
Untitled-1

Preparation essential for those living in “Earthquake Country”

While we continually stress the fact we live in earthquake country, the last couple of weeks have certainly lent credence to that statement. Seismic activity in the California area to include Los Angeles, La Habra and Fortuna, ...
 
 
taxes-art

Tax season deadline looms, free filing available

On April 15, the regular tax season comes to an end. Unless you qualify for an automatic extension (deployed anytime from Jan. 1 – April 15, 2014), or you file for an extension, you need to have filed your return. Why not...
 
 

UPCOMING TICKETS AND TOURS EVENTS

Some restrictions apply. Times are approximate. APRIL Date: April 12 Event: Land Sailing Trip Cost: Free Description/ Restrictions: This is a Single Airmen Program. Open to all base personnel but Single Airmen have priority. For more info please call Outdoor Rec. at 951-655-2816. Date: April 26 Event: Carlsbad Flower Fields Blues Day/ Outlet Tour Cost:...
 

 

Military officials take aim at tobacco use

Military health officials have set an ambitious goal: to have all Department of Defense installations tobacco-free by the year 2020. That’s one part of a larger effort to cut tobacco use among service members and veterans, said Col. John Oh, Health Promotion chief at the Air Force Medical Support Agency. Tobacco has long been known...
 
 
DoD
MOMC_graphic

DOD salutes children during military child month

The Defense Department believes military children serve their country alongside their service member parents, DOD’s director of the office of family policy/children and youth said. When military children serve, they do so by ...
 
 

“Live our values, step up to stop sexual assault”

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and sexual assault is a crime that is not compatible with your military service. Each April, the Department of Defense (DOD) and other organizations across the nation observe SAAM. This annual event provides the opportunity to highlight the efforts that the DOD and Military Services are taking to combat...
 




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