[HEALTH.MIL] TRICARE Pharmacy Benefits Webinar & Some TRICARE Enrollees Won't Have to Pay Annual Fee Increases

  • From: HEALTH.MIL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: <HEALTH.MIL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <TFL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2014 11:53:56 -0500

Webinar to Outline TRICARE's Pharmacy Benefit 


TRICARE and Military OneSource are co-hosting a webinar to educate TRICARE
beneficiaries about back-to-school health services. The webinar will take place
on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 12:00PM EST. To sign up, go to

Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited due to system
capacity. Participants must avoid sharing personal health information when
asking a question.

NOTE:  This webinar discuss pharmacy options available through the TRICARE
health plan. You may submit your questions to our presenter before the webinar
by sending an email to MOSWebinars@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The TRICARE Pharmacy Program provides prescription drugs to eligible TRICARE
beneficiaries. Express Scripts, Inc. (Express Scripts) administers the TRICARE
pharmacy benefit, providing your home delivery, retail, and specialty pharmacy

The presenter for this webinar is Dr. George Jones. Dr. Jones became the Chief,
DHA Pharmacy Operations Division, in May 2014.  He is responsible for managing
the operations of the Department of Defense pharmacy programs used by 9 million
beneficiaries; and for coordinating these functions between pharmacies at
Military Treatment Facilities and a network of 57,000 retail and mail order

To learn more information the TRICARE benefit, visit the newly designed website
<http://www.tricare.mil/> www.tricare.mil. 

NOTE:  Audio podcasts of previous Military OneSource webinars are available
online at  <http://www.militaryonesource.mil/social/webinar-archives>




Some TRICARE Enrollees Won't Have to Pay Annual Fee Increases

*       By Kellie Lunney <http://www.govexec.com/voices/kellie-lunney/2348/>  
*       September 30, 2014

Some TRICARE beneficiaries and their dependents no longer have to worry about
paying higher enrollment fees for their health care each year, according to a
new policy
announced on Tuesday.

The Pentagon has decided to freeze annual enrollment fees for two groups of
Prime beneficiaries at the rate in effect at the time of their enrollment. The
change affects survivors of active-duty deceased service members, and
medically-retired uniformed services members and their dependents, both of whom
are part of the retiree group under TRICARE rules. The new final rule, published
in Tuesday's Federal Register, is an exception to current policy, which
stipulates that TRICARE Prime enrollment fees are the same for all retirees and
their dependents.

The rule goes into effect on Oct. 30, 2014.

Beneficiaries in those two TRICARE categories who enrolled in Prime before Oct.
1, 2013, and those since that date, will have their annual enrollment fee frozen
at the appropriate fiscal year rate. The enrollment fees for fiscal 2011 through
fiscal 2014 are:

*       Fiscal 2011: $230 (Single); $460 (Family)
*       Fiscal 2012: $260 (Single); $520 (Family)
*       Fiscal 2013: $269.38 (Single); $538.56 (Family)
*       Fiscal 2014: $273.84 (Single); $547.68 (Family)

Future beneficiaries added to these categories will have their fee frozen at the
rate in effect at the time they are classified in either category and enroll in
TRICARE Prime or, if not enrolling, at the rate in effect at the time of
enrollment. The fee stays frozen as long as one family member is enrolled in
TRICARE Prime in one of the two categories, and there is not a break in

According to TRICARE's website, the fiscal 2015 TRICARE Prime enrollment fee
will be $277.92 (single) and $555.84 (family).

"The Prime beneficiaries in these categories have made significant sacrifices
for our country and are entitled to special recognition and benefits for their
sacrifices," said the notice in the Federal Register explaining the decision.

Active-duty service members and their dependents do not pay for health care
under TRICARE Prime.

The military's massive health insurance program offers millions of service
members, retirees and their dependents quality care at a relatively low cost.
That's what the government aimed for when it created the Civilian Health and
Medical Program of the Uniformed Services in 1966, now known as TRICARE. But the
price <http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44993>  of that success has been high for
Uncle Sam: The $53 billion program now consumes 10 percent of the Pentagon's
non-war budget.

TRICARE premiums for beneficiaries have not kept up with inflation and the
overall increase in health care costs during the past two decades. Congress
agreed to raise TRICARE Prime annual enrollment fees for retirees in 2011 -- the
first time the fees have gone up since 1995. Since the legislative change, the
rate of increase has been indexed to the rate of inflation.

Retired TRICARE Prime beneficiaries now pay between $30 and $88 more in annual
fees than they paid before the increase, which took effect in fiscal 2012.

The Obama administration has proposed more aggressive changes to TRICARE,
including tying annual fees to retired recipients' income and charging an
enrollment fee for TRICARE for Life, the health care program Congress created in
2001 for military retirees age 65 and older. Congress so far has rejected both
of those ideas.

The Pentagon currently is reviewing military pay and benefits -- including
health care programs - through its Military Compensation and Retirement
Modernization Commission. The panel is scheduled to issue a report in early 2015
with recommendations for reform.

Want to contribute to this story? Share your addition in
y-annual-fee-increases/95480/?oref=govexec_today_nl#comments> comments. 


SOURCE:   GovExec article at




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