July 2006

ARMED FORCES NEWS
NEW TRICARE BENEFITS ON TAP
July 7, 2006


Effective Oct. 1, the Tricare Reserve Select health plan will be offered for purchase by qualified National Guard and Reserve service members. Additional coverage also will begin for post-traumatic stress disorder and mental health conditions. In addition, extended coverage will be available under Tricare Prime for surviving children whose sponsor died while serving on active duty for a period of more than 30 days. Also the Tricare Dental Program (TDP) survivor benefit will include the surviving active duty spouse if both spouses are on active duty when one of the spouses dies, and the surviving spouse enrolls in the TDP after retirement or separation within three years of the death. ROTC cadets and midshipmen on orders, who have not yet reported for their initial period of active duty and are uninsured, will be covered for medical and dental care the same as active-duty service members. Visit www.tricare.osd.mil. 
 

ARMED FORCES NEWS
TRICARE RESERVE SELECT OPENS GATES
July 24, 2006

The Defense Department announced July 7 a period of eligibility determination for the new Tricare Reserve Select (TRS) program. Now every member of the selected reserve will have the option to purchase health coverage from Tricare. Coverage will begin Oct. 1, 2006, with the period to determine eligibility running from July 1 through Sept. 25. Selected Reservists must have their eligibility verified by their service personnel office and complete DoD Form 2895, "Agreement to Serve in the Selected Reserve for TRICARE Reserve Select" before they can submit their application for TRS coverage. Eligibility requirements are at www.defenselink.mil/ra/. For more information, visit www.tricare.osd.mil/reserve/reserveselect/index.cfm.
 

ARMED FORCES NEWS
MOAA, AMA P
ARTNER AGAINST MEDICARE CUTS
July 28, 2006

On July 18th, the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) joined the American Medical Association (AMA) and other groups at a Tampa, Florida, press conference to denounce a planned 4.7 percent cut in Medicare physician reimbursement rates. MOAA representative, retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Lynn, said, "Medicare physician payment cuts pose a health care threat to more than nine million military members and their families nationwide. Reducing payment rates even further will have a devastating effect on access to care for thousands of military beneficiaries who already find it difficult to locate physicians who accept Tricare. ..." An AMA survey of providers in early 2006 indicated that if payment cuts begin in 2007, 45 percent of physicians plan to either stop accepting or decrease the number of new Medicare patients and 43 percent will either stop accepting or decrease the number of new Tricare patients.

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