COMBAT CENTER HOSPITAL WILL STILL BE SEEING RETIREES UNDER NEW HEALTH PLAN

COMBAT CENTER HOSPITAL WILL STILL BE SEEING RETIREES UNDER NEW HEALTH PLAN

There’s no need to panic; the base hospital on board the Combat Center in Twentynine Palms will not stop seeing military retirees. Last week, the Naval Hospital held a meeting to discuss upcoming changes concerning medical care and new health care plans for military retirees. The base hospital has been treating retirees, but technically, the hospital is not required to see military retirees. In order to ensure there are enough doctors on board at the Naval Hospital, it will roll out a voluntary healthcare plan later this summer, called Tricare Plus, which will document the number of military retirees seen at the base hospital. Under Tricare Plus, the hospital will officially accept between 400 and 600 retiree patients; that number will increase as retirees age into the program. Tricare Plus does NOT replace Tricare for Life, which is for retirees 65 years old and older. A letter instructing retirees how to enroll in Tricare Plus will be sent out in August or September, and the program is set to begin in October. For more information, call Vanda Stanley at 760-830-2903.
From the Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms Public Affairs Office:
The Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms hosted an information session Thursday, March 23, to educate retirees and their families on the Tricare Plus Program (TPP). Lieutenant Commander Todd Hlavac, Daniel Aldridge, and Vanda Stanley provided an overview of TPP, eligibility requirements, and the enrollment process.
TPP is available for beneficiaries 65 and older and qualify for Medicare. They must also not be enrolled in another HMO plan such as Tricare Prime, a civilian HMO, or Medicare HMO. There is no enrollment fee, monthly premium, or deductible for TPP when patients are seen at their assigned military treatment facility. The Naval Hospital will assign primary care managers to TPP beneficiaries, thereby ensuring continuity of care. TPP enrollees are seen on an appointment basis, providing greater expediency and convenience to the space-availability method currently offered to those enrolled in Tricare for Life.
Services for Tricare Plus beneficiaries vary between military treatment facilities. The Naval Hospital at Twentynine Palms offers only primary level care services; specialty care will be referred to network providers and reimbursed by patients’ third-party insurers.
Beneficiaries may elect to remain in their current coverage plans, such as Tricare Prime and Tricare for Life. The scope of their current benefits remains the same. TPP serves as an additional option from which eligible beneficiaries may select their coverage plans. The beneficiary may dis-enroll from Tricare Plus at any time; and the Tricare Plus enrollee is not prohibited from using the Tricare for Life benefit when traveling out of the area.
The Twentynine Palms Naval Hospital is currently accepting enrollment applications and will begin the review process in August. Eligible beneficiaries who enroll in Tricare Plus can expect to be notified of their status in September. Official roll-out of the Tricare Plus program is slated for October 2017.
For more information or to request an enrollment application, call the NHTP Healthcare Benefits Advisor at 760-830-2903.

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