Military Report: health Care Changes Coming

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Starting January 1st, 2018, members of the military may see some changes to their TRCARE health plans.
Julia Laude takes a look at what's new in this week's Military Report.

Based on the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017, there will be changes to TRICARE benefits.
Currently, service members and their dependents are either covered under plans known as TRICARE Standard or TRICARE Prime.
But in the New Year, TRICARE Standard will be called TRICARE Select.

K. Lee Hardcastle; Director - Medical Management>>"Mostly what it means is that, if you're TRICARE Prime really nothing changes, if you're TRICARE Standard, you're going to be moved to TRICARE Select and that move in the beginning has really little impact, it's something that's going to be phased in so it mainly impacts retirees because they're the ones who pay for their TRICARE benefit and so where Standard was free, there was no enrollment cost, TRICARE Select does have an enrollment cost but it doesn't kick in until 2021."

Hardcastle recommends that beneficiaries visit the TRICARE website to find out how this change impacts their situation.

K. Lee Hardcastle; Director - Medical Management>>"When Congress put this in place they really wanted military beneficiaries, is to really understand better their TRICARE benefit and take command of their health care. I would recommend everybody to go to the TRICARE.mil website and look at what their benefit is and what their family needs."