TRICARE is changing January 1. Some changes are big, some are small, let's explain them.
New TRICARE Plan
Do you currently have TRICARE Standard or TRICARE Extra? Well, come January 1 you won't. These plans are being replaced by TRICARE Select. You don't need to do anything, you will be changed over automatically.
The TRICARE Select plan is similar to the plans it is replacing, the only thing that really changes is the name.
If you had TRICARE Standard, Extra, or TRICARE Reserve Select you were used to paying 15 -20 percent of the bill as your copay. That will change on January 1, you will be paying a set amount when you visit a network provider (non-network visits will still have a percentage copay).
This is good and bad, you may end up paying more, but most people won't, and knowing how much you have to pay in advance is always better than getting a surprise bill.
New regions and contractors
The 3 TRICARE regions that used to exist will now become two - East and West.
What does this mean to you? Not much.
Since the contractors are changing, some doctors may drop out of the TRICARE plan, but very few.
If you're a retiree who uses TRICARE Prime, Reserve Select, or Reserve Retiree, you may have to send your enrollment fees or monthly premiums to a different place.
Check out our TRICARE Regional Offices page for more details including links to the new regional office sites where you can check out a list of participating doctors.
New Pharmacy Prices Coming In February
Yes prices continue to rise, just like the sun in the morning.
The good news is that medication prices won't go up that much. Much less than under most civilian health plans, but still you aren't getting that free healthcare for life like you were promised by your recruiter.
The biggest increase most people could see is around $4 per month for brand-name drugs. So you may want to try and fill any existing prescriptions before the new rates go into effect Feb. 1.