FRA staff, Bob Washington, recently participated in a meeting with Acting Deputy Director of the Defense Health Agency (DHA) RADM Colin Chinn, who was joined by representatives of three service Surgeons General. Discussions focused on implementation of FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) TRICARE changes. Other issues discussed include health care for military children, specifically hospice care and programs for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder; and the May1, 2017, transition of the TRICARE dental program from MetLife to United Concordia.
In related news, concerns were expressed during a recent Defense Department Military Family Readiness Council meeting that some military families are finding some doctors and other health care providers are dropping out of the TRICARE network in advance of this year’s change to TRICARE contracts. Among other changes in the new contract, TRICARE’s three regions are now consolidated into two, with Humana in the East region and HealthNet in the West, pending one court challenge to the contract. FRA will monitor the health care reform mandated by the FY 2017 NDAA and ensure that TRICARE and VA Health Care programs are not adversely impacted by unanticipated consequences during implementation.
TRICARE beneficiaries should make sure that they and their family members are enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment System (DEERS), and review the information in DEERS for accuracy, especially your contact information (address, phone and email address). Your primary care manager—either a new one or the same one you currently have—will need to be able to reach you. If you don’t already have a milConnect account, register for one by visiting their website.
If you have an account, log in and check if your information in is correct. While you used to get some materials mailed to you, such as claim forms and your Explanation of Benefits statements, under the new contract you will only be able to access that information online. Obtaining or maintaining an active milConnect account will be important.