Veterans

January 11, 2013

Officials announce TRICARE Prime service area changes

Active-duty service members and their families will be unaffected when long-delayed reductions to areas where the TRICARE Prime option is offered take place Oct. 1, TRICARE officials said Jan. 9.

But as TRICARE seeks to synchronize service area shifts once staggered by contract delays, some military retirees and their dependents will be moved to TRICARE Standard coverage, S. Dian Lawhon, beneficiary education and support division director, said during a conference call with reporters. Those affected reside more than 40 miles from a military treatment facility or base closure site, she said.

The new contracts limit Prime networks to regions within a 40-mile radius of military treatment facilities and in areas affected by the 2005 base closure and realignment process, she explained. But provisions will allow Prime beneficiaries who see providers outside the 40-mile service area to remain in Prime if they reside within 100 miles of an available primary care manager and sign an access waiver, she added.

“If TRICARE retirees and young adults live less than 100 miles away from a remaining Prime service area, they can re-enroll in Prime by waiving their drive standards and there will be room made for them,” Lawhon said, adding that the networks are required to connect providers to those who elect to waive their drive standards.

Contractors such as United HealthCare Military & Veterans, Health Net Federal Services and Humana Military will continue to assist beneficiaries in obtaining providers in their regions, she added.

“Health care is best if it’s local,” Lawhon said. “We’ve established the drive standards (to enable) people to access their primary and specialty care within a reasonable period of time.”

Austin Camacho, TRICARE’s benefit information and outreach branch chief, said the out-of-pocket, fee-for-service cost of TRICARE Standard would cost a bit more, depending on the frequency of health care use and visits. No cost applies for preventive care such as mammograms, vaccines, cancer screening, prostate examinations and routine check-ups, he added.

Officials estimate the changes will lower overall TRICARE costs by $45 million to $56 million a year, depending on the number of beneficiaries who choose to remain in Prime, Camacho said.

Lawhon and Camacho said beneficiaries should speak to their health care providers and families to assess the best course of action.

“We’re hoping people will take a careful look at their health care needs,” Lawhon said. “We have seen that people using the Standard benefit are very pleased with it, and their customer satisfaction is the highest of all.”

 




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


 
 

 

Headlines November 26, 2014

News: When Hagel leaves, new SecDef faces big questions about the military’s futureĀ - President Obama’s new pick to run the Pentagon will face a dizzying set of challenges affecting the Defense Department’s mission, budget and culture. Who will be the next Secretary of Defense?- Following the Nov. 24 surprise announcement from the White House, the...
 
 

News Briefs November 26, 2014

Navy to decommission two more ships in Puget Sound The Navy recently decommissioned the guided missile frigate USS Ingraham at Everett, Wash. It will be towed to Bremerton and scrapped. The Daily Herald reports the Navy also plans to decommission another ship at the Everett homeport and also one stationed in Bremerton. Naval Station Everett...
 
 

NASA airborne campaigns tackle climate questions from Africa to Arctic

NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into how different aspects of the interconnected Earth system influence climate change. NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 

Northrop Grumman supports U.S. Air Force Minuteman missile test launch

Northrop Grumman recently supported the successful flight testing of the U.S. Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system. The operational flight test was conducted as part of the Air Force Global Strike Command’s Force Development Evaluation Program. This program demonstrates and supports assessment of the accuracy, availability and reliability of the...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 




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>