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, c hief of Medical Administration for Coast Guard’s Office of Health, Safety, and Work-Life
TRICARE regularly reviews its coverage of procedures and expands services, procedures and processes covered to provide the best care possible to eligible beneficiaries. There are some recent additions to services covered.
1. Auditory Osseointerated Implant (AOI)
Beginning in December of 2016 the Auditory Osseointerated Implant (AOI) is a covered benefit for non active duty members. The AOI is a device planted in the skull of a patient that assists with improving hearing. The AOI may be helpful to patients who suffer hearing loss as a result of trauma, disease, or other conditions. TRICARE also covers related items such as hearing exams, repairs or replacement devices and accessories related to the AOI.
2. Urinary System Health
TRICARE has recently expanded services to diagnose and treat illness to the urinary system. These conditions can include bladder disease, cancer, or blunt force trauma from accidents. There are a range of specific services that TRICARE may cover depending on your particular medical condition and need. The TRICARE Urinary Treatment page provides specific guidelines regarding what is covered.
3. Congestive Heart Failure
As of October 2016, Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is a covered diagnosis under TRICARE. CHF occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood. Included as part of this benefit are 36 supervised outpatient cardiac rehabilitation sessions. Cardiac rehabilitation sessions are not limited to CHF patients but are available for a range of other cardiac conditions as well. Cardiac rehab sessions must be ordered by your attending doctor.
4. Preventive Healthcare Services
Preventive healthcare services have also been recently expanded. Newly covered items include annual preventive health care visits for TRICARE Prime enrolled beneficiaries age 6 and older. Children under age six are covered under the well child program.
Also covered is the well woman exam for women under age 65. Covered services include genetic counseling for BRCA1 and 2 gene testing for women at high risk of breast cancer as well as pelvic exams, pap smears, and breast exams. There is no cost share or copay for the well woman exam.
See our previous blog post for a more in depth discussion of expanded preventive services.
If you’ve recently received care for one of these conditions and it wasn’t covered at that time, save your receipts and submit a claim to your regional TRICARE Contractor, you may be eligible for reimbursement.
You can reach you regional contractor by calling the following:
- North-Health Net, 1-877-874-2273, https://www.hnfs.com/
- South-Humana Military, 1-877-249-9179, https://www.humanamilitary.com/
- West-United Healthcare, 1-877-988-WEST (9378), https://www.uhcmilitarywest.com/
* Be sure to follow our blog series for upcoming posts on major changes to TRICARE and how it will affect you.
For more questions, call or email the Coast Guard Health Benefits Assistance Line for help 1-800-9-HBA-HBA or CGHBA@uscg.mil .