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thedrifter
11-19-02, 06:42 AM
Confused about TRICARE For Life (TFL) and whether you need to update your Uniformed Services Identification Card to use the program?

Want to know the difference between updating your Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) record and obtaining a new ID card?

Want to know why the back of your ID card reads "Civilian No" and your friend or family member's reads "Civilian Yes?"

If your answer to any of these questions is yes, the following information is for you.

If you are a sponsor, age 65 or over, eligible for Medicare Parts A and B, and have purchased Part B, you do not need to update your current ID card to receive health care under TFL -- even if the medical eligibility status printed on the back of your ID card indicates "Civilian No."

Medicare Part B is required for TFL eligibility. If you have used TFL and have received a TRICARE explanation of benefits statement that TFL has paid your claims, you do not need to notify DEERS that you have Medicare Part B. Your Medicare Part B information has been picked up in a data match with Medicare. You do not need to update anything in DEERS other than changes in your residence, mailing address or family member status.

If you haven't used TFL yet or don't think that your Medicare Part B information is being picked up during TFL claims processing, you may call your regional managed care support contractor or visit your nearest military personnel office that has an ID-card facility and have them register your Medicare Part B enrollment status in DEERS.

If you visit an ID-card facility, you should take your Medicare card with you. You may go online to locate the nearest personnel office or ID-card facility at http://www.dmdc.osd.mil/rsl or call 1-888-DOD-LIFE (1-888-363-5433) for these locations and other information about TFL. You do not need to obtain a new ID card when you add your enrollment in Medicare Part B because you are only updating your record.

If you are a family member, survivor, or TRICARE-eligible former spouse age 65 or over, eligible for Medicare Parts A and B, and have purchased Part B, you need to look at your ID card and see if it has expired. If you have an expired ID card, you should visit or contact the nearest military personnel office that has an ID-card facility to have a new ID card issued.

You may go online to locate the nearest personnel office or ID-card facility at http://www.dmdc.osd.mil/rsl or call 1-888-DOD-LIFE (1-888-363-5433) for these locations and other information about TFL.

Individuals not able to travel should contact the nearest ID-card facility for instructions on renewing ID cards by mail. To renew your ID card, you must have a pre-verified application form titled "Application for Uniformed Services Identification Card -- DEERS Enrollment, DD Form 1172." If your sponsor is alive, your sponsor must sign the form in front of a notary public or other authorized verifying officer. If you are a survivor, you should contact your local ID-card office to inquire about the required documents to obtain an ID card.

ID cards are current for four years, unless you turn 65 during the four-year period. Turning 65 is another reason your ID card's medical eligibility status will expire.

If you are age 65 or over and have recently updated your ID card, your medical eligibility status printed on the back of your ID card might show as "Civilian Yes." This means you are eligible for TFL.

If you have had no reason to update your ID card (it hasn't expired and you haven't recently turned 65, that is, you turned 65 a couple of years ago), your medical eligibility status printed on the back of your ID card might show as "Civilian No." You are not required to update your current ID card to receive health care under TFL. The next time you update your ID card, the medical eligibility status will be changed.

To update Medicare Parts A and B eligibility and purchase of Part B in your DEERS record, the process is the same for sponsors, family members, and survivors of eligible former sponsors, as long as their Social Security number (in addition to the sponsor's) is recorded in DEERS. If you have used TFL and have received a TRICARE explanation of benefits, it is not necessary for you to update DEERS. Your Medicare Part B information has been picked up in a data match with Medicare. You do not need to update anything in DEERS other than changes in your residence or mailing address.

To verify your eligibility in DEERS, you may call the Defense Manpower Data Center Support Office toll free at 1-800-538-9552 or TTY/TDD: 1-800-363-2883 for speech or hearing impaired. If you require additional information on enrolling in Medicare Part B, contact the Social Security Administration toll free at 1-800-772-1213 or TTY/TDD: 1-800-325-0778 for speech or hearing impaired.

Additional information on Medicare is available at http://www.medicare.gov and up-to-date information on TFL is available on the TRICARE Web site at http://www.tricare.osd.mil/tfl

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SOURCE: TRICARE Web Site at http://www.tricare.osd.mil

Important contact information:

TRICARE Pharmacy: 1-877-DOD-MEDS (1-877-363-6337)

TRICARE For Life: 1-888-DOD-LIFE (1-888-363-5433)

Help desk operating hours are:

Monday - Friday, 7 a.m - 11pm (EST)
Saturday, 9 a.m - 8 p.m (EST)
Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m (EST)

Want to get TRICARE answers, assistance via E-mail? Send your request to TRICARE_Help@AMEDD.ARMY.MIL or QUESTIONS@tma.osd.mil

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Sempers,

Roger