View Full Version : Some hit snags in Tricare Reserve changes

10-31-07, 04:17 PM
Some hit snags in Tricare Reserve changes
By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Oct 31, 2007 11:18:28 EDT

The Oct. 1 restructuring of the Tricare Reserve Select health insurance program did not go as smoothly as planned, with some reservists not being notified until Oct. 25 that their health care coverage had been canceled.

A Tricare spokesman said steps have been taken to provide retroactive coverage for those left in limbo. However, some people — those who enrolled in the expensive Continued Health Care Benefit Program that provides temporary coverage — may have lost coverage Oct. 1 without knowing it and are not eligible for retroactive coverage.

Tricare officials announced in September that anyone enrolled in the Tricare Reserve Select health plan — about 9,000 people — needed to re-enroll during a restructuring of the program that would change eligibility rules.

Two separate letters were sent to the homes of every person enrolled in Tricare Reserve Select and follow-up phone calls also were made so that everyone was aware of the Oct. 1 change, said Tricare spokesman Austin Camacho.

Officials were pleased with the outcome, Camacho said; 99 percent of the people who were enrolled before Oct. 1 had re-enrolled by Oct. 17.

However, some reservists did not get the word because they were enrolled in a separate military health care plan, the Continued Health Care Benefit Program, an optional program available to National Guard and Reserve members who signed up for temporary coverage — three months at a time — after their free post-mobilization coverage ended.

One Army Reserve member, who asked not to be identified, said he only learned about the new Reserve health plan in an Oct. 25 message from an Army Reserve personnel official, and only found out that his family health benefits were canceled effective Oct. 1 when he tried to enroll in the new plan.

The reservist said he ended up stuck in limbo, unable to get new Tricare Reserve Select coverage before Nov. 1, and with his family’s $1,900 three-month temporary insurance canceled effective Oct. 1.

“This was anything but a smooth transition,” he said.

Camacho offered apologies to anyone who was confused.

“I can see how that can happen,” he said. “It seems as though no matter how hard we try, we always run the risk of missing something because health care is so complicated.”

For reservists who had Tricare-provided continued health care benefits or were enrolled in Tricare Reserve Select but missed the Oct 1 re-enrollment deadline, Camacho said it is not too late to sign up. For those who enroll now, medical coverage under Tricare Reserve Select will be retroactive to Oct. 1 as long as they sign up within 60 days of that date, he said.

Those who had been enrolled in the Continued Health Care Benefit Program, known as CHCBP, are now eligible for Tricare Reserve Select but may not be eligible for retroactive coverage, Camacho said.

He encouraged interested reservists to contact their managed care contractor to determine their individual situation.


corey lemley
11-28-07, 02:48 PM
my ex father in law retired about 3 years ago him and my mother in law was married for about 13 years I guess during his time in the corps my mother in law is saying that she was removed from his health care benefits because the policy has changed to having to be married for 15 years wouldn't she be grandfathered to the old 10 year standard?