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TRICARE For Life begins Oct. 1

When TRICARE For Life begins Oct. 1, about 1.5 million uniformed services retirees, their family members and survivors who are age 65 years and older, will receive expanded medical coverage through the military's health care program.

The TRICARE For Life program will make TRICARE available as a secondary payer to Medicare, which means TRICARE will pay most of the costs not covered by Medicare for these beneficiaries, eliminating many co-payments and deductibles. Details about the TRICARE For Life program were mailed regionally by TRICARE managed care support contractors to this beneficiary population, using addresses from the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).

Those persons who believe they may be eligible, but did not receive this mailing, can request it by calling toll-free 1-888-DOD-LIFE (1-888-363-5433).

No TRICARE For Life beneficiary card is necessary for eligible beneficiaries to receive reimbursement for covered services, and no enrollment is required. However, to be eligible for the expanded TRICARE coverage, uniformed services retirees, eligible family members and survivors, age 65 and over, need to be registered in DEERS and have valid military identification (ID) cards. They also must have Medicare Part A, and be enrolled in Part B.

Beneficiaries eligible for TRICARE For Life who do not possess a valid ID card, will need to obtain one from their local military ID card issuing facility. Beneficiaries can go online to find the three closest personnel offices or ID card facilities at http://www.dmdc.osd.mil/rsl/. They also can call 1-888-DOD-LIFE (1-888-363-5433) for these locations, and for other information about TRICARE For Life. To check their DEERS information, they may call the Defense Manpower Data Center Support Office (DSO) on its toll-free number, 1-800-538-9552.

Other ways TRICARE-eligible beneficiaries may update their DEERS addresses include: making changes on the Web site: http://www.tricare.osd.mil and use the 'browse by topic' (DEERS Address Change). Faxing the address change to DSO, Attn: COA, 1-831-655-8317; Mailing changes to the DSO, Attn: TFL, 400 Gigling Road, Seaside, CA 93955-6771; or, calling the toll-free number for DSO at 1-800-538-9552.

Documentation is required, and may be faxed or mailed. Beneficiaries who need to update their DEERS information other than address changes, should contact or visit the nearest military ID card issuing facility.

To become enrolled in Medicare Part B, beneficiaries should apply to the local Social Security Administration (SSA) office. The front of their Medicare card will indicate Part B enrollment status. For details on enrollment in Part B, beneficiaries may call the SSA toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, or visit any Social Security office. They also can find information on the Medicare Web site, http://medicare.gov (or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to speak to a Medicare Customer Representative).

TRICARE For Life users may continue obtaining care from their Medicare providers, or they may receive care as available in military treatment facilities. Some may have the opportunity to use TRICARE Plus, a local primary care enrollment program available at some military treatment facilities. TRICARE Plus has no enrollment fees or premiums.

Many age 65 and over beneficiaries already take advantage of the TRICARE Senior Pharmacy Program, which started April 1. Eligible uniformed services retirees, their family members and survivors receive comprehensive prescription drug coverage with minimal co-payments through the National Mail Order Pharmacy Program, or through TRICARE network and non-network retail pharmacies. Co-payment amounts may be higher if beneficiaries choose non-network pharmacies.

They may also continue using military treatment facility pharmacies, which require no co-payments.

To learn more about the TRICARE Senior Pharmacy Program, call 1-877-DOD-MEDS (1-877-363-6337) toll-free.

Additional information and updates about TRICARE For Life are posted on the TRICARE Web site at http://www.tricare.osd.mil/tfl/






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