The healthcare insurance provider for the military, Tricare, has put out a new online tool that will let users find out if they are affected by change to coverage areas, which will happen sometime later this year.
Those younger than age 65 and military retirees can visit www.tricare.mil/psazip to see if they will be affected by the change to coverage areas. Those living 40 or more miles from military medical facilities or base closure sites will be transferred to Tricare Prime, a managed care program, to Tricare Standard, which is a fee-for-service health insurance, starting October 1st. According to Tricare this move will affect more than 171,000 people.
Information on approved contractors and signup to alerts on other Tricare changes can be found at the website. The availability of Tricare Prime in Alabama will shrink to the 40-mile zone this fall. This new change will not be affecting active-duty service members or their families, or anybody using Tricare Remote.
There are exactly four Medical Treatment Facilities in the state. They are the Fox Army Health Center based at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, U.S. Coast Guard Clinic in Mobile, Lyster Army Community Hospital at Ft. Rucker, and Maxwell Air Force Base 42nd Medical Group in Montgomery.
This decision by Tricare is expected to save somewhere around $45 million to $56 million per year.
Tricare is the official Department of Defense healthcare program, and derives its name from the three levels of coverage they offer. Prime, Standard, and Extra are the levels of coverage they offer. Tricare also offers TRICARE Dental and a program for Medicare eligible military retirees known as TRICARE for Life. They also offer beneficiaries’ retail and home delivery pharmacy benefits.
Edited by Rich Steeves