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Changes Are Coming to TRICARE: Are You Ready to Take Command of Your Health?

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

Changes are coming to your TRICARE benefits beginning Jan. 1, 2018. These changes are designed to give you more benefit choices, improve access to care, simplify cost shares and allow you to take command of your health.

The best way to prepare for these changes is to ensure your information in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) is up to date by visiting www.tricare.mil/deers and signing up for TRICARE benefit updates at www.tricare.mil/changes.

Over the next few months, the 6th Medical Group will host several town hall meetings at the base chapel to discuss upcoming changes to the TRICARE Program. For your convenience, the following dates and times available: Nov. 28 at 3:00 p.m., and Dec.10, at 10:00 a.m. Space is limited for each date and time, so please call 813-827-9900 and select option 3 to pre-register.

Here are a few more details you need to know:

Region Consolidation

Currently, there are three TRICARE regions in the U.S.: North, South and West. The North and South regions will combine to form TRICARE East, while TRICARE West will remain mostly unchanged. Two new contractors, Humana Military and Health Net Federal Services, LLC, will administer these regions. This change will allow better coordination between the military hospitals and clinics, and the civilian health care providers in each region.

TRICARE Select

TRICARE Select will replace TRICARE Standard and TRICARE Extra both stateside and overseas. Stateside, TRICARE Select will be a self-managed, preferred provider network option. You will not be required to have a primary care manager (PCM), which allows you to visit any TRICARE-authorized provider for services covered by TRICARE without a referral. If you live overseas, TRICARE Overseas Program Select will be a preferred provider organization styled plan that provides access to both network and non-network TRICARE-authorized providers for medically necessary TRICARE covered services. TRICARE Select adopts a number of improvements, including additional preventive care services previously only offered to TRICARE Prime beneficiaries.  

TRICARE Prime

TRICARE Prime is a managed care program option. An assigned PCM provides most of your care. When you need specialty care, your PCM will refer you to a specialist. Active duty service members and their family members do not pay anything when referred to a network provider by their PCM. All others pay annual enrollment fees and network copayments.

Enrollment

All current TRICARE beneficiaries will transition to their respective TRICARE plan on January 1, 2018 as long as they are eligible. TRICARE Prime enrollees will remain in TRICARE Prime. TRICARE Standard and TRICARE Extra beneficiaries will be enrolled in TRICARE Select. During 2018, you can continue to choose to enroll in or change coverage plans.

In fall 2018, TRICARE will introduce an annual open enrollment period. During this period, you will be able to choose whether to continue or change your coverage for the following year. Each year, the open enrollment period will begin on the Monday of the second full week in November and run through the Monday of the second full week in December.

This is YOUR Benefit – Take Command. Stay informed with the latest information.

In the coming months, more information will be made available at www.tricare.mil/changes. By staying informed, you’ll be ready for a smooth transition with TRICARE.