TRICARE Prime Service Areas To Be Trimmed
Some retirees and their family members who live in remote areas will have to travel longer distances for health-care coverage. The Defense Department plans to reduce the number of TRICARE Prime service areas in the U.S., beginning Oct. 1. The areas slated to close are not located near military treatment facilities or sites that have closed or will close under base realignment and closure (BRAC). Most of the roughly 170,000 beneficiaries who are affected by the change live more than 40 miles from a military treatment facility. All have been notified earlier this year about the impending change. Soon, they should expect to receive a letter in the mail explaining their health-care options. More information about TRICARE Prime service areas is available online at
http://www.tricare.mil/PSA. All TRICARE Prime beneficiaries remain eligible for coverage under TRICARE Standard, which operates comparably to a civilian health maintenance organization. TRICARE Standard requires no monthly premiums or referrals, but participants do pay some out-of-pocket costs and must meet an annual deductible. Users should expect to pay about $20 more per month for services than they would under TRICARE Prime, which offers a primary care-giver to manage their health care. TRICARE Prime requires an annual enrollment fee and lower out-of-pocket costs than TRICARE Standard.

 

 

 

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