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 Cmdr. Paul Fawcett
While access to appropriate medical care is important when you’re sick or injured, its even more important when you’re trying to keep from becoming ill. Preventive health care is key to preserving your wellness, and TRICARE is expanding its coverage of preventive medicine services.
– Well Child Care –
TRICARE currently covers well child care for children under age five. In this program you can receive care such as developmental and behavioral appraisals, immunizations, blood pressure checks and health guidance and testing. For a full listing of well child services visit the TRICARE well child page.
– Updates to Preventive Services –
Beginning Jan. 1, 2017 TRICARE will pay for yearly preventive medicine office visits for all beneficiaries enrolled to TRICARE Prime over six years of age. Beneficiaries enrolled to TICARE Standard can receive no cost preventive services through Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Examinations in conjunction with another covered benefit such as a screening or immunization. Additionally beneficiaries at risk for colon cancer are now eligible for DNA testing for this disease every three years after age 50, this benefit became active on June 21, 2016. For more information about this update and other preventative care services, click here.
– Well Woman Exam and Updates –
TRICARE authorizes an annual well woman exam for all Prime and Standard Beneficiaries under age 65, at no cost. Currently the well woman exam encompasses three parts: a health history, a physical examination and labs, including a PAP smear, and a discussion of healthcare and maintenance issues. The expanded benefit now includes generic counseling for women identified as being at high risk for breast cancer by their physicians and gene testing for certain women who meet specific guidelines. For more detailed information regarding eligibility for gene testing or counseling, click here.
– Other Preventive Health Benefits –
In addition to these newly covered and expanded benefits, TRICARE offers a series of other preventive health services. These include, but are not limited to:
- Infectious disease screening for Hepatitis, rabies and HIV.
- Annual mammograms for women over 40 and MRIs for women over 30 who have a 20% or greater risk of breast cancer.
- Colonoscopy beginning at age 50 and once every 10 years thereafter.
- An annual comprehensive preventive exam for adults if it includes another covered benefit such as cancer screening.
- View a comprehensive list of preventative services on the TRICARE Preventive Services page or view this TRICARE Preventive Health Care Services fact Sheet.
For other TRICARE questions, please contact the USCG Health Benefits Assistance line at 1-800-9-HBA-HBA or CGHBA@uscg.mil . You can also leave us a comment below.