TriCare insurance change has loophole
With the start of the federal government’s new fiscal year on Oct. 1, many military families were automatically disenrolled from the health plan TriCare Prime, and downgraded to TriCare Standard.
This change increases their health care costs, unless they are willing to drive to the Marine base at Pickel Meadow or even the Fallon Naval Air Station for care.
Retirees and their dependents will be required to pay an annual deductible and cost shares rather than a small copay.
Gardnerville Ranchos resident Valdis Boyd was one of the many Valley residents effected by the drop in coverage.
“It’s more cost to us if we have to go to TriCare Standard. You end up having the cost share and no copay,” she said. “We live in a community with a lot of active duty personnel. Why would they travel to Pickel Meadow when their doctors are here.”
Boyd reapplied for TriCare Prime in August, only to be rejected for incomplete paperwork. She resubmitted again, and was approved.
The company told her that although TriCare members were automatically enrolled in the Standard program, they can re-enroll for Prime until Oct. 25, and keep their current health care providers.
“We’re blessed,” Boyd said. “The community itself has embraced the TriCare system. Many of the doctors accept it now. I’ve never had a problem with it.”
To re-enroll, visit http://www.uhcmilitarywest.com, and click on “Beneficiary Forms.” Paperwork can be faxed to 1-877-890-7297.