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Changes are coming to TRICARE: are you ready to take command of your health?

By By TRICARE.mil staff | www.TRICARE.mil | Nov. 1, 2017

WASHINGTON —

Changes are coming to TRICARE benefits beginning Jan. 1, 2018. These changes will give people more benefit choices, improves access to care, simplifies cost shares, and allows people to take command of their health.

The best way prepare now is to update information in DEERS at https://TRICARE.mil/plans/eligibility/DEERS, sign up for TRICARE benefit updates at http://www.TRICARE.mil/subscriptions, and visit TRICARE changes at https://TRICARE.mil/about/changes.

Here are changes to know about:

Region Consolidation
Currently, there are three TRICARE regions in the U.S.: North, South and West. The North and South regions will combine on Jan. 1, 2018 to form TRICARE East, while TRICARE West will remain mostly unchanged. Two new contractors, Humana Military and Health Net Federal Services, will administer these regions. This change will allow better coordination between the military hospitals and clinics and the civilian health care providers in each region. Florida and Georgia will continue to be served by Humana Military as part of the new TRICARE East.

TRICARE Select
On Jan. 1, 2018, TRICARE Select will replace TRICARE Standard and TRICARE Extra, both stateside and overseas. Stateside, TRICARE Select will be a self-managed, preferred provider network option. You will not be required to have a primary care manager, or PCM, therefore you can visit any TRICARE-authorized provider for services covered by TRICARE without a referral. If you live overseas, TRICARE Overseas Program Select will be a preferred provider organization-styled plan that provides access to both network and non-network TRICARE-authorized providers for medically necessary TRICARE covered services. Also, TRICARE Select adopts a number of improvements, including additional preventive care services previously only offered to TRICARE Prime beneficiaries.

TRICARE Prime
TRICARE Prime is a managed care program option. An assigned PCM provides most of your care. When you need specialty care, your PCM will refer you to a specialist. Active duty service members and their family members do not pay anything when referred to a network provider by their PCM. All others pay annual enrollment fees and network copayments.

Enrollment
All current TRICARE beneficiaries will be automatically enrolled into plans on Jan. 1, 2018 as long as they are eligible. TRICARE Prime enrollees will remain in TRICARE Prime. TRICARE Standard and TRICARE Extra beneficiaries will be enrolled in TRICARE Select. During 2018, you can continue to enroll in, or change coverage plans.

In fall 2018, TRICARE will introduce an annual open enrollment period. During this period, you will choose whether to continue, or change your coverage for the following year. Each year the open enrollment period will begin on the Monday of the second full week in November, and run through the Monday of the second full week in December.

Are You Ready? Take Action Now!
You can begin to prepare for the upcoming changes now:
* Sign up for a DS Logon: https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/identitymanagement/authenticate.do?execution=e4s1
* Update your personal information in DEERS: https://TRICARE.mil/Plans/Eligibility/DEERS
 
In the coming months, more information will be available at https://TRICARE.mil/about/changes. To stay informed, sign up for email alerts at https://www.TRICARE.mil/subscriptions. You can also get alerts by signing up for eCorrespondence in milConnect at https://www.TRICARE.mil/eCorrespondence. By staying informed, you'll be ready for a smooth transition with TRICARE.