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DoD to Retirees: Set Up Tricare Select Payments Now or Risk Losing Coverage


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streak03

I just set mine up.  All I did was email [email protected] and they emailed me the paperwork to set up an allotment from my retirement.  I filled it out, sent it back and they acknowledged receipt and told me that it was taken care of.  So, we'll see.

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Salty Dog

I'm in the US and my wife is on TRICARE Prime, so this doesn't affect her.

TRICARE Prime enrollment fee will be going up by only a few dollars in 2021 to $25.25 a month. I actually pay it quarterly $75.75. Comes to $303 a year.

I see that the copay is going up $1 as well from $20 to $21 for doctor visits. Specialist and Primary Care from $30 to $31.

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Soupeod

Completed mine online today.  Online didn't work before, so I gave it one more try. Done! (Via milconnect)

 

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Salty Dog
Quote

119,000 Retired Military Beneficiaries Still Haven't Set Up Payment Plans for Tricare Select

16 Mar 2021

Military.com | By Patricia Kime

Military family advocates are worried that some beneficiaries dropped from the Defense Department's Tricare Select health program in January won't know they don't have health coverage until they go see a doctor.

These beneficiaries -- working-age military retirees and their family members who were enrolled in the Tricare Select health program last year -- failed to set up payment plans for enrollment fees introduced Jan. 1, leaving them without access to comprehensive health care coverage under Tricare.

Tricare's two main contractors, Humana Military and Health Net Federal Services, have been reaching out to individuals about their lapsed coverage and the new payment requirements; at least 400 have told the contractors they no longer want the coverage.

But 14% of the 876,531 retirees and family members who were enrolled in Tricare Select in 2020 have not set up an allotment or payment plan, including at least 60,000 beneficiaries who haven't filed a medical claim in the past year. That leads advocates to worry that roughly 119,000 people have missed the news about the new fees.

"We had concerns that it was going to be difficult to reach some of these folks from the beginning," said Karen Ruedisueli, director of health affairs at the Military Officers Association of America. "You have people who are no longer connected to the military community, living in areas where there's not a military treatment facility and are 10 to 15 years into retirement."

According to data provided by Humana and Health Net, roughly 700,000 of those enrolled in Tricare Select last year have set up payment plans to cover the fees or have paid ahead for the year, including 54,000 who missed the Jan. 1 deadline.

The Defense Health Agency has extended what originally was a 90-day deadline for reinstating coverage to 180 days, or the end of June. During the grace period, those who failed to establish payment can pay any missed monthly fees and renew coverage.

If they miss the June deadline, however, they will have to wait until Tricare open enrollment season in November to re-enroll.

"I worry that there will be people out there who aren't going to find this out until after the reinstatement period is over, and they are pretty much out of luck until the next open enrollment period in November," said Eileen Huck, deputy director for health care at the National Military Family Association.

Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., introduced legislation last month that would extend the reinstatement period to the end of 2021. Huck said her organization has urged the Defense Health Agency to extend the deadline and would support legislation if that doesn't happen.

"I'm grateful [the senators] are following this issue and are concerned about it," Huck said. "I'm glad members of Congress are potentially aware that this is a big problem."

The enrollment fees were included in the fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act at the request of the Defense Department, part of an overall reform effort of the military health system. The monthly fees, for retired beneficiaries who joined the military before 2018 or their dependents, are $12.50 for an individual or $25 for a family.

Last week, Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, introduced legislation that would eliminate the fees altogether, effectively overturning the 2017 provision that introduced them.

Tester said the bill would ensure that military retirees and their families aren't "burdened by costly enrollment fees [that] put their health care in jeopardy" during a pandemic.

"This legislation is a critical step in supporting more folks during these tough times," he said in a release Friday.

Murkowski said the fees affect most of Alaska's retired military population and should be eliminated.

"COVID-19 has had significant impacts on America's veterans and their families. We must guarantee their hard-earned medical benefits are protected throughout this public health crisis, and beyond," she said in a release.

Both senators voted in 2016 in favor of the bill that enacted the fees.

The enrollment fees are payable by allotment, credit card or direct debit from a bank account. They apply to "Group A" retirees and their dependents -- working-age retirees under age 65 who entered the military before Jan. 1, 2018, and their family members or survivors.

The fees do not apply to active-duty families who use Tricare Select or those who use Tricare for Life, are enrolled in Tricare Prime, or use any other premium-based plans through Tricare. The change also does not affect survivors of deceased active-duty members or medically retired retirees and their family members.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2021/03/16/119000-retired-military-beneficiaries-still-havent-set-payment-plans-tricare-select.html

 

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Soupeod

It’s confusing as hell, like when they cancelled my Tricare prime without me knowing! Effie dirtbags!

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Chris24

I enrolled last month in Tricare retired reserve, with the premiums set up to come out via auto-payment from my credit card.  The enrollment process was easy, all online.  They wanted two months' premium in advance which I'm fine with.  Now I assume that I just need to watch my credit card to make sure each future monthly premium comes out. 

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Salty Dog
2 hours ago, Chris24 said:

I enrolled last month in Tricare retired reserve, with the premiums set up to come out via auto-payment from my credit card.  The enrollment process was easy, all online.  They wanted two months' premium in advance which I'm fine with.  Now I assume that I just need to watch my credit card to make sure each future monthly premium comes out. 

I pay my wife's TRICARE Prime quarterly via credit card. I just paid it yesterday. You can't beat $75 a quarter ($25 a month) for good health care with reasonable copays. It's never been an issue, but the fact that they have an annual catastrophic cap of $3000, after which TRICARE pays 100%, is great...

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Chris24
21 hours ago, Salty Dog said:

I pay my wife's TRICARE Prime quarterly via credit card. I just paid it yesterday. You can't beat $75 a quarter ($25 a month) for good health care with reasonable copays. It's never been an issue, but the fact that they have an annual catastrophic cap of $3000, after which TRICARE pays 100%, is great...

Yep, that will be my scenario in two years when I turn 60.  Until then my premium is higher but very reasonable.  Having access to Tricare was one of the reasons I was able to retire this year, together with Dental and Vision plans for my family with good coverage and reasonable premiums through the FedVIP program.  These benefits are not high on the list of things that most young people think about when they initially enlist, but they really can change the landscape at this age.

The funny thing is that I'm one of those people who almost never goes to the doctor, I'm not on any meds, no chronic health issues.  But having that cap on catastrophic events is the main reason to have insurance in my opinion.  That plus getting carrier rates on those occasions when you do go in for minor things.   

Edited by Chris24
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Chris24
Posted (edited)

Thousands of Military Retirees Are About to Find Out They Have No Tricare Select Coverage

JANUARY 11, 2021

<<<   source:  https://www.military.net/thousands-of-military-retirees-are-about-to-find-out-they-have-no-tricare-select-coverage/  >>>

Nearly 175,000 military retirees and family members may soon find out they have lost their Tricare Select coverage.

Starting this year, retirees were required to pay a new monthly enrollment fee to keep their Tricare Select coverage.  But about 20 percent of beneficiaries have not set up a payment plan to continue their coverage, which was supposed to be done by December 31, 2020.

The number of retirees who will be losing coverage is quite concerning, but not surprising, said Karen Ruedisueli, director of health affairs for the Military Officers Association.

The new premiums only affect those who are on Tricare Select.  If you use any of the other Tricare programs you will not incur the new premium.

Additionally, there are several groups who do NOT need to worry about the payment:

     -  Military retirees who got a medical discharge, along with their family members

     -  Survivors

     - Active-duty Military members and their families

In 2021, for the first time, retirees and family members enrolled in Tricare Select, must pay enrollment fees in order to continue their coverage. If you haven’t responded to the Defense Department’s clarion call to contact your Tricare regional contractor to set up a payment process, you lost coverage as of Jan. 1, and you’ll soon find your health care claims are denied.

These are so-called “Group A” retirees and their dependents — working-age retirees under age 65 who entered the military before Jan. 1, 2018, their family members and survivors. Previously, these beneficiaries didn’t have to pay enrollment fees for Tricare Select, but a 2017 law required the Defense Department to start charging these enrollment fees by Jan. 1, 2021.

If you are one of the retirees who just found out you lost your Tricare Select coverage, here’s what you need to know.  The Defense Health Agency recently extended the grace period for you to re-enroll to 180 days.  You must reach out to the regional Tricare contractor and request your coverage be reinstated.  If you then pay the enrollment fees dating back to January 1, 2021, you should be able to get back in good standing.  Tricare will then pay for previously denied claims once coverage is reinstated.

The new fees are $150 a year for individuals (or $12.50 per month), and $300 a year for families (or $25 per month).

 

 

Edited by Chris24
edited for formatting
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