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07-29-04, 10:43 AM
Uniformed Service Members - Are You Enrolled In DEERS?
July 23, 2004
No. 04-17

Active duty members of the United States Uniformed Services and their families are entitled to a comprehensive health care program-at no cost-but many of them aren't getting the message.

In order to take advantage of TRICARE, the health care system for the U.S. Uniformed Services and their families, (including eligible National Guard and Reserve and Active Duty members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), members must have their personal information up-to-date in the Defense Enrollment and Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) so providers can verify that beneficiaries are eligible to receive care and process civilian care claims correctly.

The address information in DEERS will be used by Humana Military Healthcare Services, the new contractor for TRICARE Prime Puerto Rico, to send beneficiaries important information on benefits that service members and their families are eligible to receive. Currently, between 15 and 20 percent of this important information is being returned because beneficiaries' addresses are incorrect in DEERS. If DEERS does not have the correct information, beneficiaries may not know what benefits are offered or where to find a provider. In the case of emergency, beneficiaries cannot afford to have their eligibility questioned.

There is a simple solution: Uniformed Service members should update the sponsor and family's personal information in DEERS, specifying their mailing address (not just their home address), to ensure that they receive their important benefit information, and most importantly, so they can use their benefits they earn for their service with no out-of-pocket cost.
How to update DEERS Information:

1. Beneficiaries may visit the nearest Uniformed Services personnel office (ID card facility), also called the "Real Time Automated Personnel Identification System" (RAPIDS) Office. In Puerto Rico, the three RAPIDS sites are:

Calle General Esteves #100
Cuartel Guardia Nacional
San Juan, PR
Tel: (787) 289-1683
P.O.C. Sgt. Curcino
Open Monday-Friday
7:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. by appointment only
Bldg. 218
Ft. Allen
Juana Diaz, PR
Tel: (787) 260-8014
P.O.C. Mr. Aponte
Open Monday-Friday #260 Guard Road
Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen
Aguadilla, PR
(Coast Guard Logo on Hanger)
Tel: (787) 890-8488
Open Tuesdays & Thursday
7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

2. Send the correction via the TRICARE Web site* at: www.tricare.osd.mil/DEERSAddress.

3. Call the Defense Manpower Data Center Support Office (DSO) at 1-800-538-9552, Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (Pacific time), except Federal holidays.*

4. Mail the address information (home and mailing) to the Defense Manpower Data Center Support Office, ATTN: COA, 400 Gigling Road, Seaside, CA, 93955-6771 USA.*

4. Fax address changes to DEERS ATTN: COA at 1-831-655-8317.*

*Note: Beneficiaries' mailing address, telephone number and e-mail address may be updated via the Web, telephone, fax or mail. Any other information must be updated at a RAPIDS office.

What you need:
Uniformed Services members or registered family members may make address changes; however, only the service member may add or delete a family member from DEERS, and proper documents are required such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree and/or birth certificate.

It is important for beneficiaries to verify that the name(s) on their ID card matches the name submitted on claims forms. If there is a problem with the name listed on an ID card, the sponsor should contact DEERS. Beneficiaries should also make sure their civilian providers use the correct mailing address so that providers can file claims and beneficiaries may receive a TRICARE Explanation of Benefits.

For more information:
Call RAPIDS or DEERS at the numbers above.* Beneficiaries also may visit the TRICARE Web site at www.tricare.osd.mil/puertoricohealthcare/ for information on TRICARE benefits or to link to DEERS at www.tricare.osd.mil/deers/default.cfm. The site also has links to the TRICARE Latin America Office (TLAC), http://tricare15.army.mil/, and the Humana Web site at www.humana-military.com/PuertoRico/home.htm.