As of April 1 gone are the days of registering your new born in person for Tricare Prime, hauling yourself and your billing problem to a real-live human or having Tricare on the in and out processing check list.
Like we told you in early November after MilitaryOneClick broke the story, the Defense Department is getting rid of the service centers in an effort to save some cash. Tricare officially announced the change Jan. 13.
All of the stuff you do in those centers can be done on the phone or online, they said. And helping the 137,000ish combined people who use the 189 facilities every year just isn’t worth the $5 million it costs to keep them open and the contractors who run them in their chairs.When we first told you about this you sounded off in a major way. A full 80 percent of you said closing these centers is a terrible idea.
The Defense Department has promised to cut redundancies. Some of us have been wondering what that will look like and if they are actually going to get around to doing it. Think of all the family programs that seem to do the exact same thing but never seem to be eliminated.
Yet here they are, cutting a redundancy. Even though doing some of this stuff online or on the phone is not as good or helpful or easy as doing it in person, it CAN be done … and so the service centers are basically a costly redundancy. And away they go.
This puts military families in a bit of a rock and a hard place. We know they have to make cuts. We know we don’t want them to cut retirement, commissaries, pay, entitlements, etc. …
But what DO we want them to cut?
Is getting rid of the in-person service centers slashing a redundancy or is it another promise broken?