April 14, 2017
The TRICARE Dental program, which covers eligible families for active duty as well as the Guard and Reserve members, will change to a new contractor May 1. While a typical change in contractors involves different providers joining the new network, the recent change to United Concordia has drawn quite a bit of attention by concerned beneficiaries and their dentists.
The new TRICARE contract requires United Concordia to provide a minimum of 95 percent of beneficiaries enrolled in the program with an in-network dentist. The dentist's office must be within a 35-mile radius of the beneficiary's home, and provide an appointment within 21 days of a request. United Concordia stated it has exceeded this contractual requirement. However, reports of complaints from beneficiaries are surfacing, suggesting existing dentists will not be joining the new network due to lower reimbursement rates. These potential disruptions in care were enough for MOAA to express concerns to both the Defense Health Agency, who oversees the TRICARE program, and to congressional staff members of the Armed Services Committees on Capitol Hill.
MOAA and other Military Coalition partners will be closely following the TRICARE dental contract change. MOAA scheduled a meeting with United Concordia representatives at the end of April prior to the start of the contract to discuss members' concerns. You can bet the issue of beneficiary satisfaction with dental provider choices will be at the top of the list.
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