Written by LCDR Preston Hieb
The Military Health System (MHS) is modernizing TRICARE to better serve beneficiaries and to respond to changes in law and policy. Most changes will go into effect on January 1, 2018.
The TRICARE 2017 (T2017) contracts will consolidate three regions into two for streamlined healthcare delivery
The North and South regions will become the new East region with Humana Military becoming the Regional Contractor beginning on January 1, 2018. The West region will remain the same geographically with Health Net Federal Services becoming the Regional Contractor on January 1, 2018. The TRICARE Benefit is the same regardless of where you live, but there are different customer service contracts for each region. The Regional Contractor is the main resource for customer service, claims processing, and prior authorization for certain health care services. Beneficiaries should expect outreach communications from the incoming Regional Contractors during the fall 2017.
On January 1, 2018 existing TRICARE Standard beneficiaries will be auto-enrolled in TRICARE Select
TRICARE Standard and Extra will become the new TRICARE Select Plan. TRICARE Select is a self-managed, preferred provider network plan. Enrollment is required for new beneficiaries, but those beneficiaries currently using TRICARE Standard and Extra will be automatically enrolled in TRICARE Select on January 1, 2018. Beneficiaries will remain in TRICARE Select unless they change coverage or lose eligibility.
TRICARE Prime and other TRICARE Plans will likely undergo additional changes, but at this time details have not been released. Enrollment will be required for new beneficiaries. More details will be available on the TRICARE website – https://www.tricare.mil/About/Changes.
TRICARE for Life is not expected to change.
Health Plan Costs for 2018
Starting January 1, 2018, costs for TRICARE benefits will be charged by Calendar Year (Jan – Dec) instead of Fiscal Year (Oct – Sept).
Depending on your plan and when you became eligible for TRICARE you may be required to pay an enrollment fee. TRICARE costs are subject to change. More details will be available on the TRICARE website: https://tricare.mil/about/changes/costs
TRICARE Changes Checklist — What Beneficiaries Need to Do
TRICARE Changes Checklist – What Beneficiaries Need to Know