This blog is the most recent in a series helping members of the Coast Guard family understand how to use their TRICARE benefits. The blog series will continue every Monday, right here on Coast Guard All Hands.
Written by Lt. j.g. Colleen McCue
Do you ever wonder where to go when you need TRICARE assistance? TRICARE offers numerous tools that can help you navigate through the TRICARE system. These tools can assist with a variety of topics from claims, referrals, and beneficiary education. You name it! TRICARE has numerous podcasts, TV episodes, and news articles, which cover a vast amount of information. As a beneficiary, it’s important to know where to go for these helpful tools and resources. To assist you and your family, the Health, Safety, and Work-Life Service Center would like to share a few of the many useful TRICARE tools. A great starting point is TRICARE’s homepage.
Health Benefits Advisor (HBA) Line
The first resource available is known as the Health Benefits Advisor Line (HBA Line). During the hours of 0700-1800 Eastern Standard Time (EST), an Active Duty Service member provides knowledgeable customer service support in response to questions to a variety of topics including general information, benefits, claims, eligibility, authorizations and provider inquiries.
If a TRICARE issue arises which requires supporting documentation to resolve, the HBA line will direct you to utilize the centralized email address.
Email Address: CGHBA@uscg.mil
*Note: If you require assistance outside of the 0700-1800 EST hours, please leave a message and a HBA Representative will return your call in a timely manner. You can also contact the TRICARE Representative in your region:
- North Region: Health Net – 1-877-TRICARE (1-877-874-2273)
- South Region: Humana – 1-800-444-5445
- West Region: United Health Care – 1-877-988-WEST (1-877-988-9378)
Nurse Advise Line (NAL)
Another resource available to you 24/7 is the Nurse Advise Line (NAL) where you will reach a registered nurse who can answer urgent care questions, provide you health care advice, and help you find the nearest medical provider. The NAL also assists you with making informed decisions concerning self-care at home or when your symptoms require a visit to your local health care clinic.
Telephone: 1-800-TRICARE, Option 1
My TRICARE is a website which allows beneficiaries to view their new authorizations and referrals or past authorizations and referrals up to 24 months. This website can also show the status of your TRICARE claims, and allow you to view and print your TRICARE explanation of benefits. This resource will allow you to mange your TRICARE business online, anytime day or night; no waiting on the phone or mail! Click here to register for My TRICARE.
Image 1. My TRICARE.com registration.
TRICARE Formulary Search Tool
The TRICARE Formulary Search Tool is helpful when you are researching whether a drug is covered by TRICARE. The Formulary Search Tool allows you to search by drug name. This tool will inform you if the drug is covered, how much you would pay if the drug was filled at an MTF, home delivery, or retail network pharmacy.
Image 2. TRICARE Formulary Search results from Ibuprofen 800mg.
Military One Source offers TRICARE webinars, which discuss an array of topics. The most recent webinar was titled “Health Care Options After Losing TRICARE Eligibility.” Click here to register for webinars.
TRICARE News Center
TRICARE also has a News Center. The TRICARE News Center offers brief articles, which will keep you up to date. The most recent article was titled “Missing Appointments Wastes Time and Money.” Click here for TRICARE News.
TRICARE TV Episodes
TRICARE TV is a monthly web series that educates beneficiaries about TRICARE benefits. The most recent episode was titled “Avoid Mosquitoes This Summer.” Click here to watch TRICARE TV.
For TRICARE questions or problems you can also contact a Coast Guard Health Benefits Administrator at 1-800-9-HBA-HBA or CGHBA@uscg.mil. You can also leave your comments below!