How to Keep Up with TRICARE Changes

June 16, 2017

As we look into the future of what health care will be for TRICARE beneficiaries, we see there are some significant changes to come in both the short and long term.

Through significant changes in law and policy, the Military Health System is modernizing both its delivery processes and how the benefit will be administered. Some of these key changes were outlined by MOAA.

In the very near term, by Jan. 1, 2018, the current three TRICARE regions will be consolidated into two. TRICARE West will cover most states west of the Mississippi and TRICARE East will cover the majority of the Northeast and Southeast states. Accompanying this regional consolidation will be a change in the TRICARE contractors that currently administer the health care programs in those regions.

Humana Military will take over the TRICARE East region, largely replacing Health Net Federal Services. In the TRICARE West region, currently served by United Health Care Military and Veterans, will be transferred to Health Net Federal. The result will be two new TRICARE regions with a rearrangement of contractors.

During this same time period, the TRICARE plans also will be updated with the newly created TRICARE Select option, which replaces TRICARE Standard. Most beneficiaries will be automatically enrolled from Standard into Select unless they choose to change their coverage.

In the longer term, there will be other significant changes. One of these will be the implementation of a new electronic health record (EHR). The new EHR, will better support the effective delivery of health care at the patient level as well as provide better integration between military hospitals and clinics and the TRICARE network of civilian providers. 

“What can beneficiaries start doing now? To best prepare for the upcoming changes in the TRICARE program, beneficiaries should update both their own and their families information in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System,” said Capt. Kathy Beasley, USN (Ret), MOAA's director of government relations for health affairs. 

Beneficiaries can also follow all changes and communication from TRICARE

 

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