…what does that mean for me?
On January 1, 2018, Tricare Standard and Tricare Extra became Tricare Select. Plan participants should have received a notice in the mail and were automatically converted to this new plan.
The goal of this new plan is to expand beneficiary choices, improve access to network providers, simplify beneficiary co-payments, and enhance administrative efficiency.
The biggest takeaway for participants (and providers) is that this new fixed-dollar amount cost-share is more easily understood and accepted which is great for participants and will hopefully attract more providers.
Tricare Standard previously operated on a Fiscal Year (October – September) calendar and will now transition to a Calendar Year (January to December). As with many health care plans, this new plan will have an open-enrollment period. Beneficiaries will now choose to change or enroll during the annual open-enrollment period in November to December 2018. Beneficiaries may also make changes for any family member up to 90 days following a qualifying life event (QLE). Those who do not enroll into Tricare Prime or Tricare Select will terminate coverage for civilian care and may only receive care at a military clinic or hospital on a space available basis. 2018 will be a transition year with more flexibility but expect that your plan should be in place before 2019. This is hugely important so mark your calendar!
Qualifying life events are as follows:
- Marriage, divorce, or annulment
- Birth or adoption of a child
- Placement of a child by a court into the member’s home
- Change in sponsor’s status (active to retiree or reserves, for example)
- Loss of eligibility
- Move to a new ZIP code
- Loss/gain of other health insurance
- Death of a sponsor, spouse, or child
- Change in eligibility status (dependent child marries active duty service member)
The first question I had when this new plan rolled out pertained to the costs. I feel the new flat rate system rather than a percentage based system is much easier to understand and the costs are outlined below:
Beginning February 1, 2018, Tricare has new fees for prescription coverages for all dependents:
Tricare will continue to offer a variety of plans to meet your needs:
- Tricare Prime
- Tricare Select
- Continued Health Care Benefits Program (CHCBP)
- Tricare for Life
- Tricare Retired Reserve
- Tricare Reserve Select
- Tricare Young Adult
- US Family Health Plan
Written by: Melissa Nauss, Owner & Lead Doula of Stars and Stripes Doulas of New Orleans