Thousands Must Act to Keep Tricare Select Coverage

Thousands Must Act to Keep Tricare Select Coverage

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Defense health officials are calling on thousands of Tricare Select beneficiaries to make sure they’ve set up payment arrangements so they do not lose health care coverage.

As many as 218,200 beneficiaries—or about 25% of the affected population—had not set up allotments to pay new monthly enrollment fees for Tricare Select coverage as of Dec. 31, according to information from the Defense Health Agency.

The fees went into effect Jan. 1, and beneficiaries were disenrolled if they failed to pay.

Affected beneficiaries have until June 30 to request to be reinstated to Tricare Select. Officials said some of the 218,200 beneficiaries who had not set up allotments may have voluntarily disenrolled from the program.

Officials did not provide updated numbers on how many beneficiaries have taken action since Jan. 1.

Mandated in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, the fees apply to Group A retirees, whose initial enlistment or appointment occurred before Jan. 1, 2018, and their beneficiaries. This marks the first time this group of beneficiaries is being charged such fees.

Individual enrollment fees are $12.50 a month or $150 a year. Retirees on a family plan pay $25 a month or $300 a year. Enrollment fees are waived for active-duty family members, survivors or medically retired retirees or family members, according to Tricare.

Additionally, the catastrophic cap will increase from $3,000 to $3,500; the enrollment fees will apply toward the catastrophic cap.

To resume coverage, beneficiaries must contact their Tricare regional contractor to set up a monthly allotment through their DoD pay center or via electronic funds transfer, credit card or debit card. Tricare Select coverage will be reinstated back to Jan. 1 after beneficiaries pay their back enrollment fees.

Those who are not reinstated can only get care at a military hospital or clinic if space is available, according to the Tricare website. 

Beneficiaries who want to switch to Tricare Prime can make the change during open season, which typically is at the end of the calendar year, or if they have a qualifying life event.

Depending on your Tricare contractor, you may set up your payments online, by phone or by mail. For more information, click here.