Go paperless with TRICARE

By Mike Walbert: TriWest Healthcare Alliance PHOENIX — We’ve all been there before: staring at stacks of junk mail and paper statements piled up in our mailbox or on our kitchen table. Did you know you can successfully manage your TRICARE benefits without sorting through thick piles of papers? When you “Go Green” with TriWest […]

Cutting doctor’s fees cause for concern

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Lawmakers took steps this past week to put military people at ease over how TRICARE benefits will be protected and, for older children, how coverage likely will be expanded as the Obama administration implements the new national health care reform law. But Congress continued to take only clumsy temporary steps […]

TRICARE tools tame tax time

By Tyler Patterson: TriWest Healthcare Alliance TriWest Healthcare Alliance PHOENIX — Love it or hate it, there’s no denying it: Tax season is here. Do you see yourself digging through piles of paper looking for last year’s forms and receipts? There’s a better way — TRICARE West Region beneficiaries can find TRICARE out-of-pocket costs online […]

Pay raises, fee increases proposed

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist The Obama administration proposes to spend three percent more next year on support programs for war-strained military families. But officials are urging Congress to stop adding extra dollars to the military pay raise every January and find a way to raise TRICARE fees for the first time in 15 years. […]

One year filing deadline for TRICARE claims

By Tyler Patterson and Shari Lopatin: TriWest Healthcare Alliance PHOENIX — When you visit the doctor, you probably pay your co-pay, then leave. But what if you visit an out-of-network doctor or have other health insurance? You might need to file your own TRICARE claim, something your TRICARE network provider is required to do for […]

Current TRICARE contracts extended

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist Six million military health care beneficiaries learned last July that their TRICARE support contractor would be changing on April 1, 2010, because those companies that run TRICARE’s North and South Regions had lost in competing for the next generation of contracts. But what a difference six months makes. Government auditors […]

TRICARE screenings essential to health

By Shari Lopatin: TriWest Healthcare Alliance While January is a great time to plan for your health in 2010, you’ll never find a wrong time to get vital screening tests. Whether you’re a man or a woman, age 25 or 65, make sure to talk with your doctor about the screening tests listed below. These […]

TRICARE officials encourage eye exams

American Forces Press Service FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Maintaining healthy eyes and vision is an important part of personal safety and quality of life. Getting an eye exam is a smart idea for anyone, whether or not he or she has vision problems. Active duty family members can get a routine eye exam every year, […]

Three vaccines now available at TRICARE network pharmacies

American Forces Press Service FALLS CHURCH, Va. — TRICARE beneficiaries can now receive select vaccines with no out-of-pocket expense at retail pharmacies. For the first time, beneficiaries can visit TRICARE retail network pharmacies to receive seasonal flu, H1N1 flu and pneumonia vaccines at no cost. This expanded coverage is available to all TRICARE beneficiaries eligible […]

Consider TRICARE after retirement

American Forces Press Service FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Active-duty servicemembers must use TRICARE Prime or Prime Remote, but retirees who are not eligible for Medicare may be eligible for TRICARE Prime or choose TRICARE Standard or Extra. Each program has advantages pertaining to cost, location and convenience. If space is available, continuing care in a […]

TRICARE for ‘gray area’ reservists to be offered

Courtesy of Air Force Retiree News Service from a TRICARE release FALLS CHURCH, Va. —A new program will offer “gray area” reservists the opportunity to purchase TRICARE health care coverage. While qualified members of the Selected Reserve may purchase premium-based coverage under TRICARE Reserve Select, or TRS, retired National Guard and Reserve personnel did not […]

Ethics issues surface for TRICARE

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist Aetna Government Health Plans of Hartford, Conn., appears to have gained an unfair advantage in competing for TRICARE’s North Region support contract, valued at $16.7 billion, by hiring a former chief of staff at TRICARE headquarters to help the company draft its winning proposal. The Government Accountability Office, auditing arm […]

Tricare announces H1N1 immunization policy

American Forces Press Service FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Immunizations against the H1N1 virus will soon be available, and people are eager to take precautions. Tricare Prime, Standard and Extra beneficiaries can get their shots from network and non-network providers without paying a deductible or making a co-payment. A temporary waiver allows retired Tricare Prime enrollees […]

Photocopying Military ID OK for TRICARE

By Shari Lopatin: TriWest Healthcare Alliance When the doctor’s office asks for a military ID card and makes a copy, it’s OK — and usually necessary. To receive medical care, service members and their families need to show their eligibility for TRICARE. Although those who enroll in TRICARE Prime will receive a TRICARE Prime ID […]

TRICARE fee increases blocked

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist The last decision made by House-Senate conferees negotiating final details on a fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill was to insert language that will rollback an announced Oct. 1 increase in fees charged to TRICARE Standard beneficiaries for stays in civilian hospitals. The surprise fee increases, reported here last week, gave […]

Tricare inpatient costs increase for fiscal 2010

American Forces Press Service FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Every year the costs for TRICARE-covered inpatient services are reviewed and are subject to change. For the coming fiscal 2010, which runs Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2010, there is an increase for some out-of-pocket costs paid by TRICARE Standard beneficiaries at civilian hospitals for inpatient care […]

TRICARE increase stuns retirees

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Defense health officials didn’t do the Obama administration any favor last week when they announced a “small” increase in the daily fee that military retirees under 65, their families and covered survivors must pay for inpatient care in civilian hospitals under TRICARE Standard starting Oct. 1. The jump, in fact, […]

TRICARE assists with breast cancer treatment

By Tyler Patterson: TriWest Healthcare Alliance PHOENIX — ”You have breast cancer.” A diagnosis of breast cancer can be one of the most terrifying experiences of a person’s life. Even if you’re expecting it, you’re braced for it and you’re simply waiting for the confirmation, not much else in the world can change your life […]

TRICARE offers free exams

By Tyler Patterson: TriWest Healthcare Alliance The life you save might be your friend’s, your father’s, your son’s or even your own. When it comes to prostate and colon cancer, the most effective treatment is early detection — and that makes regular screening a key component of your personal wellness roadmap. According to the National […]

TRICARE provider switch delayed

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Transition to new managed-care support contractors for 6 million TRICARE beneficiaries across 30 states has been halted while the Government Accountability Office reviews protests filed by losing bidders. TRICARE Management Activity (TMA) announced last month that Aetna Government Health Plans of Hartford, Conn., won the contract competition and would be […]