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Changes Are Coming to TRICARE: Are You Ready to Take Command of Your Health?

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Changes are coming to your TRICARE benefits beginning Jan. 1, 2018. These changes will give you more benefit choices, improves your access to care, simplifies cost shares, and allows you to take command of your health.

"Taking command of your health means empowering you to make the right health care and coverage choices for you and your family," said Lt. Cmdr. William Bennett, Naval Hospital Jacksonville director for healthcare business. "Leading up to Jan. 1, 2018, we will connect you with TRICARE resources to navigate your benefit questions."

The best way for you to prepare now is to update your information in DEERS at https://TRICARE.mil/plans/eligibility/DEERS, sign up for TRICARE benefit updates at www.TRICARE.mil/subscriptions, and visit TRICARE changes at https://TRICARE.mil/about/changes.

Here are changes that you will need to know about:

Region Consolidation
Currently, there are three TRICARE regions in the U.S.: North, South and West. The North and South regions will combine on Jan. 1, 2018 to form TRICARE East, while TRICARE West will remain mostly unchanged. Two new contractors, Humana Military, and Health Net Federal Services will administer these regions. This change will allow better coordination between the military hospitals and clinics and the civilian health care providers in each region.

Florida and Georgia will continue to be served by Humana Military as part of the new TRICARE East.

On Jan. 1, 2018, TRICARE Select will replace TRICARE Standard and TRICARE Extra, both stateside and overseas. Stateside, TRICARE Select will be a self-managed, preferred provider network option. You will not be required to have a primary care manager (PCM), therefore you can visit any TRICARE-authorized provider for services covered by TRICARE without a referral. If you live overseas, TRICARE Overseas Program Select will be a preferred provider organization-styled plan that provides access to both network and non-network TRICARE-authorized providers for medically necessary TRICARE covered services. Also, TRICARE Select adopts a number of improvements, including additional preventive care services previously only offered to TRICARE Prime beneficiaries.

TRICARE Prime is a managed care program option. An assigned PCM provides most of your care. When you need specialty care, your PCM will refer you to a specialist. Active duty service members and their family members do not pay anything when referred to a network provider by their PCM. All others pay annual enrollment fees and network copayments.

All current TRICARE beneficiaries will be automatically enrolled into plans on Jan. 1, 2018 as long as they are eligible. TRICARE Prime enrollees will remain in TRICARE Prime. TRICARE Standard and TRICARE Extra beneficiaries will be enrolled in TRICARE Select. During 2018, you can continue to enroll in, or change coverage plans.

In fall 2018, TRICARE will introduce an annual open enrollment period. During this period, you will choose whether to continue, or change your coverage for the following year. Each year the open enrollment period will begin on the Monday of the second full week in November, and run through the Monday of the second full week in December.

Are You Ready? Take Action Now!
You can begin to prepare for the upcoming changes now:
* Sign up for a DS Logon: https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/identitymanagement/authenticate.do?execution=e4s1
* Update your personal information in DEERS: https://TRICARE.mil/Plans/Eligibility/DEERS

This is YOUR Benefit - Take Command! Stay informed with the latest information.
In the coming months, more information will be available at https://TRICARE.mil/about/changes. To stay informed, sign up for email alerts at www.TRICARE.mil/subscriptions. You can also get alerts by signing up for eCorrespondence in milConnect at www.TRICARE.mil/eCorrespondence. By staying informed, you'll be ready for a smooth transition with TRICARE. 

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