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Home : News : News
NEWS | March 26, 2014

Walk-in service at TRICARE centers in U.S. ends next week

By Robert Goetz Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

Walk-in customer service at TRICARE military health plan service centers throughout the United States, including those at Joint Base San Antonio locations, will cease next week.

Starting Tuesday, customer service to TRICARE beneficiaries will be provided online or by phone.

"For all their TRICARE needs, beneficiaries will go to or," Pat Aguon, 359th Medical Group patient advocate and contract liaison, said. "They can also call 1-800-444-5445."

Aguon said most TRICARE beneficiaries visit TSCs for enrollment, billing inquiries, primary care manager changes and general information on benefits and plans, which can also be handled through Web sites, mobile applications or by calling toll-free call centers operated by regional contractors.

JBSA service centers average more than 4,500 walk-in patients monthly, Aguon said. However, walk-in visits cost the Department of Defense the most money of all customer service options.

"While a call center contact averages about $6, a walk-in visit ranges from $30 to $200, depending on the length of the visit," she said. "Eliminating walk-in service will save the Department of Defense an estimated $254 million over the next five years."

TRICARE beneficiaries are concerned about the elimination of walk-in service, which has been available for nearly 20 years, Aguon said. However, the Web site and phone options should prove more convenient.

"People like to sit down face to face, but I think the other options will work very well," she said. "I think it will be easier for beneficiaries because they can do it online. In addition, the call centers have added more staff."

The elimination of walk-in service at U.S. TRICARE service centers does not affect benefits, Aguon said.

"It is part of efforts to deliver service in a cost-effective way - more conveniently in most cases," she said.

Walk-in service at TRICARE service centers overseas is unaffected by the change.
JBSA locations are part of TRICARE's South Region, which is served by Humana Military, one of three regional contractors in the U.S.