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Tricare Help: Retiree might be able to see doctors at England facilities

Mar. 19, 2014 - 01:12PM   |  
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Q. I’m a retiree with a family enrolled in Tricare Prime and Delta Dental, with no other health care coverage. I’m also a federal civilian employee and am about to take a posting in England. We will be living not too far from RAF Alconbury and RAF Lakenheath, which both have military medical facilities. Can my family get treated at these facilities under our Tricare coverage, or do I need to go onto some other program?

A. Military hospitals and clinics will see retirees and family members if sufficient capacity and resources exist once those facilities meet their obligations to the local active-duty population. That’s a case-by-case decision usually left to the discretion of local hospital/clinic commanders, so you would need to contact the medical facilities at Alconbury and Lakenheath to inquire about that.

Again, depending on staffing and resources, some military treatment facilities offer Tricare Plus, a special option that allows retirees and their family members to enroll for primary care only at those facilities.

You also would be able to make use of local private-sector providers. The medical facilities at Alconbury and Lakenheath should be able to give you information on Tricare network providers in their areas.

You can also contact the Tricare overseas contractor, International SOS. Much more information on Tricare’s overseas program, including country-by-country contacts, is online at www.tricare-overseas.com.

Q. My husband is being separated involuntarily from the Army due to cutbacks. If I am pregnant but won’t deliver the baby until after he is out of the Army, will Tricare still cover all of the costs? We currently have Tricare Prime.

A. If the birth does not happen until after your husband comes off active duty, your costs could very well be covered, but not under Tricare Prime. Service members who leave active duty under certain circumstances, and their family members, become eligible for six months of premium-free health care coverage under a special initiative called the Transitional Assistance Management Program. One of those circumstances is involuntary separation from active duty under honorable conditions.

TAMP provides coverage similar to what beneficiaries would receive under Tricare Standard, not Prime. Standard requires no premiums, as Prime does, but it tends to carry slightly higher out-of-pocket co-pays and cost shares than Prime.

More information on TAMP is online at www.tricare.mil/tamp.

Q. I am not on Tricare Prime, but I will become eligible for Medicare in a few months. My wife won’t be eligible for Medicare for two more years. Does our Tricare premium stay the same as I move to Medicare/Tricare for Life?

A. If your wife will be your only dependent remaining on Tricare Prime once you shift to Medicare/TFL, you will pay the individual Prime enrollment rate for her. As a TFL beneficiary, you will pay the Medicare Part B premium, currently $100 a month for most people.

Write to tricarehelp@militarytimes.com. Include the word “Tricare” in the subject line and do not attach files.

Answers by RallyPoint

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