TRICARE military benefits health plan service centers will end administrative walk-in services in the U.S. April 1.
Nellis Air Force Base will be one of 189 facilities involved with this change and will also stop taking walk-ins.
“All Department of Defense beneficiaries will be affected by this change. That includes active duty, retirees and their family members,” said Staff Sgt. Jeremy McIntosh, 99th Medical Support Squadron NCO in charge of referral management center.
“The closure of the TRICARE service center will not affect health care or TRICARE benefits. It will be more convenient to pick up the phone or go online.”
The Defense Department spends roughly $50 million a year on the services they provide. Fifty percent of the visits are for in- and out-processing and requests to change primary care providers, and the rest involve billing related questions.
“[Changing the way members do these administrative services will] allow the Department to save $250 million over the next five years allowing TRICARE to invest in more important services,” said Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren.
Without walk-in availability, other options are available to accommodate TRICARE members.
“There will be an enrollment technician in house based on the current proposal but they will not be allowed to make face-to-face contact with beneficiaries,” said McIntosh. “Being that all face-to-face services on base will cease, beneficiaries will now have to utilize web-based systems, call centers, fax machines and mail.”
Beneficiaries can get more information and sign up for updates at http://www.tricare.mil/tsc. Contact United Healthcare at 1-877-988-9378 or online at www.uhcmilitarywest.com for additional questions regarding this change.