News: Options for Changing Health Care Providers
Story by Lance Cpl. Brendan Roethel
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. - Changing health care providers during a permanent change of station is becoming less difficult through programs put into place by Tri-Care.
Following the closure of Tri-Care Service Centers on April 1, Tri-Care Health Services released information informing Tri-Care beneficiaries about the several options to find new health care providers when moving to a new duty station or other residence.
“We have a lot of folks to make sure the health care is there with good support for beneficiaries,” said Mary Kaye Justis, the assistant deputy director of Tri-Care Management Activity.
“When you’re moving there are a lot of changes going on, and we want to make it as easy as possible through the multiple safety nets that exist in both our military treatment facilities and in our network.”
The first step service members and families should take is to update their information with their new address and duty station in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, also known as DEERS. Every beneficiary and service member is responsible for keeping their DEERS database information up-to-date.
“One thing people often don’t know is that they don’t have to disenroll from Tri-Care or Tri-Care Prime,” Justis said. “They just need to call their regional office or management support care contractor and let them know they’re moving. It’s a simple process. They’ll set beneficiaries up with a new primary care provider and take care of any special needs they may have in their new area. If they’re in the middle of moving and haven’t thought about transferring their information, their new management care support contractor will contact them.
Several options exist to help in changing health care providers, Justis said. A program called Moving Made Easy will walk beneficiaries through the process on Tri-Care TV or as a video on the Military OneSource website. The Moving Made Easy initiative helps service members and beneficiaries in the continental U.S. moving from one duty station, or region, to another. Tri-Care Web Resources on YouTube also offers valuable information, she added.
“All the military treatment facilities in our direct care system work very actively to take care of their folks,”Justis said. “If there are areas where beneficiaries need additional help, they can reach out to their provider and let them know so they can help create that support system.”