TriWest Loses Bid Protest

Our friend Tom Philpott reported this week that the Government Accountability Office has denied TriWest’s protest challenging the award of a new $20.4 billion regional support contract to UnitedHealth Military & Veterans Services.

Background: In March of this year TriWest had issued a statement citing several reasons why they felt that awarding the contract to UnitedHealth Group was inappropriate.

Here are some of the reasons cited in TriWest’s March press release:

  • “…United’s extensive track record of problems with consumers, providers, beneficiaries and government enforcement agencies.”
  • TriWest’s price was significantly lower than UnitedHealth Group’s price.
  • Making the change will cause a disruption in services and will cost the “taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • The government disregarded hundreds of millions of dollars in healthcare cost savings through discounts guaranteed by TriWest.
  • UnitedHealth Group has no experience providing military health care. TriWest has been providing excellence in military health care for 16 years.

Despite TriWest’s media campaign and lobbying efforts, GAO said its review showed that the bid evaluation process was reasonable. TriWest’s protest was denied on all counts.

This means that after 16 years of dealing with TriWest Healthcare Alliance, nearly 3 million TRICARE beneficiaries living in the western states will have a new regional contractor starting in April 2013.

About the Author

Terry Howell
Before becoming the Managing Editor for, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.
  • Guest

    Where is the rest of the story? It just stops with “here are some of the reasons…”

  • Guest

    Even if you click Full Story…

  • Dianne

    Waiting for the rest of the story!

  • Phil Bergin

    Is there more? Does this affect all Tricare users in the Western States?

    • Mark L

      yes it affects all of TRICARE WEST as stated in the article.

  • Seratte

    I just wonder who got paid off on this deal.

  • herman W. Hill, jr.

    BUT….what does that really mean for me as a recently instated TriCare for Life Participant? Will I have to pay higher premiums? Will the quality of healthcare services and responses be less than before? Well, this article only taps at the surface of tis issue! As a veteran, I need credible and concrete information before I go off on a rant! Thiere’s nothing in this article that would make me “raise an eyebrow”! Last point: SO WHAT?

    • MW Nelson,USAF (Ret)

      As a veteran, check with the VA, MOST of my care is through the VA. I use TRICARE’S pharmacy when VA doesn’t provide something needed which is VERY Seldom.

      • Evelyn J. Sprehe

        Agree fully with your comment! Tell me more… Don’t leave us wondering! How does this affect mine and other TriCare recipients?

        • mwnelson3

          Sorry Evelyn, I am a 26 year veteran (USAF) and considered by the VA and Social Security as 100% disabled. “Veterans” who have served honorably are eligible for VA care. Some will pay copays (for non service connected problems but nothing compared to the “outside” or Obama Care. I enrolled my dad with Ahlheimers who served 1940-1945 in the Coast Guard and the total annual cost for approximately 3 years care (until he passed) was approximately $800.00 for meds and office visits. Of course everyone is different. The VA takes a while to get an appointment for a non-emergency but if it is an emergency you’ll get right in WITHOUT waiting for the OTHERS who have no right to be there in the first place. I am currently on about about $900 a month medications and see my provider every 90 days and other specialist (for diabets) annually. I SUPPORT THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION 100%. I just hope your eligible. MWN


      Tricare for Life is GREAT!!!!! There are no premiums… See any Dr. you want to without referrals…..You do not have to get anyone’s permission, like with Triwest or any other service contractor. Just put “Tricare for Life” in your search engine and you will find a link to what the benefits are. You should be getting a booklet which will explain everything to you. If you just became eligible for Tricare for Life, then you must be on Medicare. Medicare is the primary insurer and pays according to what it approves. If there is a balance due, then Tricare for Life pays that and Medicare automatically sends the balance due to Tricare. Consider that most of the hassle has now gone out of your life as far as the Military insurance is concerned…..You can still go to a Military facility to get presciptions for free or you can go to a retail pharmacy and pay a small amount for either generic or brand name or you can use the Express Scripts mail program, which offers a reduced price over retail and delivers to your home. We have been using Tricare for Life for some time now and really like the no-hassle convenience.

      • Idmtmedic

        Lmfao……..I think I got a tingle up my leg. No premiums? So what DOES it cost?

        • Suzi

          Tell me what the premium is for Tricare for Life then? You can’t because there is not a premium for it. You have to be 65 and enrolled in Medicare A and B, that is the requirement. Medicare does have premiums, but not TFL. There are premiums for Tricare Prime for Retired for those under 65 though.

    • Recce1

      The real danger is that the new provider will “lose” records and deny “eligibility” for TriCare claims in order to save the government money. It happened before to my family when the catchment zones were realigned and a new company took over the eastern region.

      My ex-wife (still my better half) and dependent children were denied both military hospital care and TriCare coverages despite my paying for TriCare Prime. The reason, TriCare East claimed my ex hadn’t been married to me long enough although we had been married 24 years and spent all 20 years in the military together. They also claimed that my children were never in the DEERS system.

      My dependent son after he was robbed and stabbed was denied treatment when he went to a military hospital so he had to be transported to a civilian hospital. They also tried to confiscate my dependent daughter’s ID card to cover up the denial of medical care for a heart condition.

      So the advice to keep accurate records and to to be quick to submit claims and complaints is an excellent suggestion. Take names and dates down who you’re dealing with, particularly over the phone. Also, don’t be afraid to write to you Congressman or woman if care is denied.

    • Suzi

      There are currently no premiums for the Tricare for Life Program.

  • MW Nelson,USAF (Ret)

    No….it gives you 5 reasons listed under the “friggin” commercial for USAA. Not much for reasons but who said the gov’mt needed much of a reason. Some Western politician is a few bucks richer and doesn’t need to worry about his medical benefits since he/she’s definately NOT using Tricare West.

  • N. Swartz

    Lowest bid does not always guarantee a contract. Ability to perform also enters into the equation, but Tri_care West has 16 years of experience and has always done right by me. I don’t know why the Gov’t would go with the highest bidder unless there is profit in somebody’s pocket or political favors which is the same thing, money in somebody’s pocket.

  • guest

    Having dealt with United health care for My husbands Civilian Job, the customer service was lousy. I really am sad. Triwest did a good Job taking care of us as a secondary insurance. I can only pray that UHC will do the same being as they administer (they write the rules that all the other insurances must follow) my husbands civilian job healthcare.

    • Military Bene

      UHC does not write the rules for TRICARE because Tricare is not insurance, it is an entitlement. The government writes the rules for Tricare and UHC follows those rules, learn some facts.

      • Idmtmedic

        So your name is Gina Marie Bene?

  • guest

    I served most of my career on the west coast and came to the east coast for the last 6 years. There is a definite decrease in the quality of care on this coast vice the west coast. Hope the same doesn’t happen to all of the military out there now because of this.

  • Bill Senn

    Did this contract go to the highest bidder?????

    • vieteravet

      Remember this is the Obama administration, they love spending taxpay money!

    • retiree

      Normally they go to the one whose proposal provides “best value” to the government based on the RFP evaluation criteria (which are written before the RFP goes out). Cost (as in less cost is better) is normally one criteria, but so will be performance, and often an evaluation of past performance of the bidders on similar contracts.

  • Daytrese

    I use to work for Tri-West and quit after 6mths due to the company being full of crap as a beneficiary of 10 years I am glad to see them go…WHOOO finally some clean of the house going on and that’s all that needs to be said!!!!!!

    • Dan

      And what do you know about United Health Care??? Not good service dealing with Part D (SSA Drug program). Time will tell and hope you are not going to say SORRY later!!!!!!!!!


      My sentiments, exactly. I was also a victim of Tri-West and actually looked forward to getting older, so I would be eligible for Tricare for Life. United may be as bad, but at least a change is due. One company cannot demand that it be our contractor for life…..Maybe Triwest has changed since I was under its jurisdiction, but my experience was ALL BAD. I was under Triwest since they first started……THE SERVICE WAS HORRIBLE. I LOST A DR. BECAUSE SHE DID NOT WANT TO DEAL WITH THEIR EXCESSIVE DEMANDS. I WAS DENIED CARE THAT I SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED AND ON AND ON.


      Right on. See my reply to Phil at the top of the page.

    • Maggie

      And you think United is any better. Actually, they are worse. Wait till you see what they do to your benefits that you worked so hard for.

  • Tonydata

    I hope the new contractor can live up to trwest service. Triwest customer service was really the best especially when I need a insurance problem solved. They did it with understanding and compassion.

  • Guest

    Not United Healthcare! It’s one of the lowest rated out of all the managed healthcare companies. I hope there are standards they are required to maintain.

  • Carolyn

    I had United Health in my civilian job, and it was absolutely the worst company I have ever dealt with. I believe somebody did get paid off, and I also believe the premiums will increase. I definitely am disturbed with this news. I was hopeful that I would never have to deal with United Health again, and here we go. Does anyone know how much money the CEO of United Health receives – well it is staggering to say the least

    • vieteravet

      I agree, my wife works for a podiatrist, and working with United is a nightmare. In my 17 years of retirement, we’ve never had a problem with Tri-care, neither has the Dr.’s office.

    • Maggie

      I have had to deal with them with civilian patients and you are right, they are the worst. Congress has no clue what they have done to the Military service member and family to say nothing of what they have done to retirees and their families.

    • SWCSeabee

      I, too, agree. My experience with United Healthcare was terrible. Its doctors are few, customer base huge so you, as the patient, get less than desirable medical attention. My TRICARE experience was very positive. Received the medical care I needed and was treated like a human being; not a number in the queue.

  • Kelly

    WHY!!!???? Why would they give everyone insurance from someone that seems to not care about their customers? I just hope that there are rules in place to protect all of us as their customers. I just do not get fixing or changing something when it is not broke. WE as customers are happy with Tricare, leave it alone!!!!

  • Al G

    When I click on full story nothing comes-up on the rest of the story. I would to known what the whole story said.

  • Jim Oliver

    I feel that each of us should write our representatives in Congress to protest this outrageous miscarriage of justice. Why was there an option for who would serve the west region in the first place. I wonder how much money was paid to lobbyists and higher ups to vote for United Healthcare. I am sick and tired of how money seems to influence every aspect of our life these days. It is pure fraud and the parties involved are not afraid to be named because we Americans allow ourselves to be led to slaughter like lambs. Come on people. Wake up. It is time for another revolution and I mean now. If we don’t act, we have only ourselves to blame for our losing other benefits.

    • retiree

      Why was there an option? Because federal contracts are recompeted on a routine basis to prevent lock-in and higher costs from sole-source contracting. This is a federal requirement of all these types of service contracts (not just TriCare, not just DoD). It’s all part of the attempt to use the free market and competition to reduce costs and improve service.

      I assume you prefer giving in perpetuity to one contractor, and letting them charge whatever they want with no penalty/consequences, and no control over their level of service.

    • RonKriloff

      I, along with many others, wrote to congessmen, senators and Leon Panetta himself. It obviously did no good. Everyone I talked to did not want to see TriWest replaced. What a sad day for us. We do not have a voice. Retirees, including those of us who fought in Viet Nam are being ignored AGAIN! What a sad day for all of us!

  • Mark L.

    Another disappointment from a corrupt government. How could anyone with common sense vote to change to United Heath with its poor record. There should be a congressional investigation on who benefits from this unbelievable decision. TriWest did a great job for 16 years.

    • Dennis

      I agree. We have and currently have UHC as our primary….. Oops now secondary since we have Medicare. UHC is slow and very unreasonable in claims and approved doctors.

      • Nancy the Notetaker

        TriWest has given us first class service over the years. I will miss them! My gut feeling tells me that this is the beginning of Obamacare for military families. It just doesn’t make sense that a healthcare company with a “B” rating that actually bids higher than the present provider is an echo of everything in this present administration. Please take the time to vote this November!

    • danny

      What is your work position with Triwest? Do you have knowledge of the bids or are you basing your comments on speculation

  • Gary Derr

    With Medicare Tricare For Life is free and serves as your gap insurance, so it really doesn’t matter who is the servicer. Tricare pays what is not paid by Medicare.

  • John Hardin

    DOD says they want to save money, yet they go with the higher bidder. If it smells like a payoff and looks like a payoff it must be one. Congress has its nose in every other thing why dp they turn a blind eye to this fraud?

  • Phil

    I used to work for MetLife in after my retirment. Unfortunately, with United Health Care as our primary coverage, it was a nightmare of endless voice menu’s, transfers, “whoops! Sorry… Let me get you to the right person” and last but not least, denied claims for pre-approved authorizations resulting in enough of a delay for the endless chain of calls from Doctors & bill collectors to call. I moved to Phoenix and fell under TRICARE administered by TriWest. What fantastic, prompt, courteous service. I shudder at the thought of falling under UHC again. It’s not going to be good for the blood pressure


      Change can be good or bad….My experience with Triwest was horrible. I came in right as they were starting up…..Remember, they had a predecessor too……….I loved the predecessor and hated Triwest. I was denied needed service, lied to, lost my Dr. because of their excessive paperwork demands and so on……Could not wait until I became eligible for Tricare for Life….The government cannot award a contract and then just take it away because the previous contractor does not like it and one contractor cannot hold that position forever, just because some people like the service.

      It appears that not many commenting here are familiar with the story which appeared in USA Today as an update on 3-16-12. It partially read like this: “WASHINGTON – The military awarded an estimated $20 billion contract today to UnitedHealth Military & Veterans — just months after TriWest Healthcare Alliance, which has held the contract since 1996, paid a $10 million fine to settle a Justice Department suit.” (see my next comment for continuance of this one.)


        Continuing the USA Today article of 3-16-12

        Also in that article: “In September, TriWest was ordered to pay $10 million after a whistle-blower lawsuit said the company “systematically defrauded” Tricare by not passing on savings to the government gained through negotiations with health care providers; by pushing through large numbers of claims without checking them for errors to avoid late fees; and by paying for ineligible beneficiaries, non-covered services, unknown services and services paid for by another provider.

        In one case, a beneficiary became ineligible for Tricare in 2004, but TriWest billed Tricare $370,000 for a claim filed in 2006.”

        A link to the USA Today article is here:

        Hope everyone gets off their high horse and learns what really happened instead of bashing the government and making noises like government fraud. We know from the article, who committed the fraud.

        • SUZIE KNOWS

          See my reply to Phil at the top of the page.

          • Ron

            Suzie, you DO NOT know what happened! The things that happened to you in the beginning were from the DoD guidelines put into place for TRICARE and had to be followed by TriWest to meet contract. YOU get your facts straight! Also, those who were the whislteblowers, would have LOST if it had gone to court. TriWest just ended up settling to stop the nonsense.

          • SUZIE_KNOWS1

            Do you still have your Job with Triwest?

          • SUZIE_KNOWS1

            Are you still working for Triwest?

  • senior

    The reason for the switch is this company will most likely be under the ACA exchange and this move will help pay for the new ACA recipients this company will insure. Just a thought….

  • jay

    Then the president complains that military healthcare is too hight and we must pay a higher premimum but goes with the higher costing company…….the fix is in…

  • Willard Vogelgesang

    This won’t work and we don’t even know the premiums yet. I saw on the internet that the Obama administration hired 4000 new IRS agents for Obamacare if this is true Obama must know already that people won’t be able to pay the premiums, more forclosures less pay, people going bankrupt can’t you feel the love in Washington for the american people.


    Did anyone know this? An article in USA Today, March 16, 2012


    WASHINGTON – The military awarded an estimated $20 billion contract today to UnitedHealth Military & Veterans — just months after TriWest Healthcare Alliance, which has held the contract since 1996, paid a $10 million fine to settle a Justice Department suit. GO HERE FOR THE LINK:

    Wish everyone would get their facts straight. It’s not the government who committed fraud. There is a reason why they gave the contract to the highest bidder.

    • Doc

      wow Suzie, why are you letting facts get in the way of a good argument? Actually well done!
      You commit fraud you can’t get the follow on contract. Seems pretty straightforward…that is when you have the facts.

      • SUZIE_KNOWS1

        Sorry Doc……Ha, Ha. Don’t think I will stop this argument, however. Some people just don’t care about facts.

        • Suzi

          Not to mention the fact that most of the people commenting here do not seem to understand that the decision making is still determined by Tricare policy. Did you know that there is actually a Tricare Policy Manual on the DHA website that lists things like non covered procedures and the rules for determining medical necessity? It is not up to UHC policy, it is based on the rules in that manual.

  • Laura R.

    I can’t believe they would do this! I’ve heard nothing but extremely poor reports about United Health Care, and have had nothing but good experience and GREAT customer service with TriCare. I agree – it’s time for a revolution! It’s time to get back to government “…of the people, by the people, for the people.” My government would use common sense and remember it’s the people that elect them. Oh, no….maybe it’s the special interest groups that elect them…

    • Ben Dover

      No, it’s the Corporations because they are people too, according to the U.S. Supreme Court anyway!

    • Jon W

      Remember that November is coming – for those that can – get out and volunteer some time at a local office supporting a candidate – especially either Congressman or Senator (for the 1/3 of all Senators up for election) — and then get your voice heard. Let them know we need to reverse this. April is AFTER the elected take office – and it can be reversed.

      • retiree

        This November has NOTHING to do with TriWest competition. That would have been competed REGARDLESS of who was in office, due to FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulation) and acquisition law.

        • Caribou100

          Yes, BUT. The proposal evaluation panels are humans that are supposed to look behind what the bidders say and judge for themselves how believable the claims and promises are. The GAO should also consider the disruption to millions of people that United Health Care will cause as they learn the ropes of military healthcare.
          The government Source Selection Authority should also have better judgement. Last fall TriCare let Express Scripts push Walgreens out of the military prescription business, yet Express Scripts and Walgreens are peers–Express Scripts is NOT government and should NOT be allowed to exercise government power any more than SEIU is allowed to do.

    • Huck Huckabay

      You want of, by and for? Vote Obama and his barrel of snakes out in November.

    • Bob

      This is the insurance the ‘AARP’ is pushing for the Socialist group in DC.

  • Paula Way

    I believe Congress knows exactly what they are doing! If getting your hard earned, yet paltry tidbit of promised healthcare is made difficult, many frustrated and disgusted veterans will give up and just go elsewhere. I’ve seen this even with TriCare, TriWest and the old CHAMPUS. Don’t think for one moment Congress is looking out for the Veterans and their families!

  • Linda

    I wonder who in our “Great Government” owns part of UHC or has family that owns part of it. Follow the money. That is the way it is with ALL government officials. Can’t wait till Nov. I am voting to get rid of ALL of them. Both Parties.


      I recall reading, when TriWest started up, that the man who started it was formerly an aide to McCain…..He and McCain both live in Arizona and Triwest was based in Arizona, so like Linda, I did wonder.

      I often wondered why the company was named Triwest……I thought I was dealing with Tricare for the longest time just as Laura R. seems to, if you view her comment below…..She tells how she “has always had good experience and GREAT customer service with ‘TRICARE.’ ” Methinks she means TRIWEST.

  • Kenneth R. Luman

    I have had nothing but a GREAT experience from TriCare West. By going to another provider with a less than stellar performance rating. I am sure that asa retire serviceman that our costs will go up, our health care will go down and we will not receive the outstanding customer service that TriCare has provided all these years. It masy be too late but I have contacted our two senators and all of Kansas’ representatives to register my disgust with the decision to change from Tricare West.

    • ADAMS

      PRICE It always comes down to Price Govt can’t get past it QUALITY OF SERVICE HAS NO BEARING

  • DDKinsley

    If you are a disabled veteran with over 80% disability, you have already been MANDATED to get Medicare, which has already cost you more. If you had prescriptions through Walgreens, now you have been MANDATED to pay more elsewhere. This MANDATE to United Health Care is the last bit of insanity. What about all the years it has taken for us to get acceptance with our providers/doctors, and all the procedures that are in planning stages, but not ready to go forward yet, we are back in limbo. TRICARE For Life just went out the door also. How many of us are nervous about a VA provider that doesn’t like Vietnam veterans, or are against War on Terrorism veterans. I’m not sure I feel real comfortable going under the knife with them. Some of them are crackerjack doctors, some got their training from a box of cracker-jacks. You were trained as a veterinarian, in some 7th world country and now you are my VA surgeon…ah thanks a lot. Where’s King George at, or do I need a doctor-czar to lead me because I am too stupid to understand my own needs. Oh yeah, you aren’t allowed to buy a Big Gulp soft drink either, it’s been MANDATED out in New York City.

  • Ben Dover

    United healthcare is a rip-off organization. There must of been shady dealings in the award of this contract as normal. Kiss your bene’ies goodbye!

  • H. Hebdon

    There should be a way that we, as the recipients of services, should be heard with regard to our anger and disbelief. At the same time we are screaming that there needs to be cuts and that TRICARE is really over spending. Further that the cuts and costs should be put upon the retirees and then the DOD, in their questionable wisdom, give a contract to an entity that is not even associated with the TRIWEST Region and who weren’t chosen to begin with, and who are charging the Government millions of dollars more than TRIWEST. Additionally, they do not have the network of providers, they will need some form of start-up (is this included?) and they have significant complaints that have been lobbied against them from those they have supposedly served. They do not know our military population and yet there is this belief that it is appropriate to give this contract to the one who ORIGINALLY didn’t recieve the nod, but only did when DOD did a reversal of all the contract awards. I think there should be a Congressional inquiry at the very least into this inappropriate plan of spending at a time when the government is CUTTING, CUTTING, CUTTING. What a scandelous shame.

  • Joe E.

    I believe there’s a bigger problem here. It seems the care under TriCare is either being diluted to cover the costs to the government of covering the previously uninsured, like the $500 billion Medicare “savings” or the Obama administration making a deal with Congress to cut the defense budget. I believe our healthcare is a major part of the cut. TriWest calls FDA approved spinal implants for pain “unapproved” and refuses to cover even though I’ve had chronic pain and been on pain meds for 20 years. They no longer cover name brand meds that have worked for years and require me to take some generics that don’t work as well. My doctor says other insurance have done the same things “since the first of the year.” Something must be done for the un or underinsured but not by refusing to cover needed care.

  • Jackson

    I wonder how much AARP was envolved with this bit of insanity. I have always had great service from TriWest and like most others have heard nothing but “bad News” about United. Have you noticed that AARP promotes United and also went for the Obamacare policy. I have heard a lot of promises from our politicians but little with results!!

  • Dee

    Isn’t TriWest an Arizona company? What a predictable way for Chicago politicians to “punish” the state for its policies on illegal immigration.

  • Bob Hinkle

    There is a lot of speculation in the comments here. Some really wacky stuff too. Perhaps the article writer could have given about 90% more information relevant to the topic, so as not to incite panic, spawn wild conspiracy theories and keep the rhetoric to a minimum. This poorly written snippet is how damaging rumors get started, and we Veterans have an abundance of those to deal with.

  • Jon W

    Another crock of ****. Since I began serving in 1979, I’ve seen so many of our benefits eroded. When I started, back then, retirees were provided free medical care for life, then it went to CHAMPUS, and costs were passed on to the retirees. Then to TriCare — and CHAMPUS was better, as I recall. Now it is changing again. But this change is only part of the Pelosi-Reed “shove it down thier throats and blame it on Obama so we stay elected” health-care plan. Recall — it was Pelosi who said “gotta pass this so we can then see what is really in it!” I’m no fan of Mr. Obama – but – even he has found things that in the plan that he has kept from being implemented.

    There is only one solution to this craziness —- Remember that November is coming – for those that can – get out and volunteer some time at a local office supporting a candidate – especially either Congressman or Senator (for the 1/3 of all Senators up for election) — and then get your voice heard. Let them know we need to reverse this. April is AFTER the elected take office – and it can be reversed.

    • retiree

      Our benefits have steadily INCREASED. In 1979 you had space-A at MTFs or CHAMPUS (started in 1967). Now you have space-A at MTFs, TriCare Standard (similar to CHAMPUS), or TriCare Prime.

      And this TriWest change is due to standard contracting – you don’t award a contract in perpetuity – or nothing prevents price-gouging. The Competition in Contracting Act alone requires competition, except for narrowly defined exceptions.

      Timeline for Military Health Care:
      – Space-A treatment at MTFs (free)

      CHAMPUS (1967)
      – Space-A treatment at MTFs (Free)
      – CHAMPUS (no premium, copay and deductible)

      TriCare (1994)
      – Space-A treatment at MTFs (Free)
      – Tricare Standard (no premium, copay and deductible)
      – Tricare Extra (similar to standard, some lower rates, as I understand it)
      – Tricare Prime (premium, extremely reduced copay in many cases, no deductible).

      Some pages of reference:

    • Casisevillano

      If you think Romney will make things better for military retirees, you have a rude awaking coming. Consider how many of his children have served in the military… NONE. Their family consider military service “other people’s responsibility.” Most likely Romney will run America much like Bain… gut things for the profit. Most military retirees are not rich so Romney is not concerned with them. I am not a fan of Obie and I want him gone but not to be replaced by Romney. Military retirees and America have enough problem without letting Romney trash the country for the rich. Tax cuts for the rich has not worked for over 10 year, why do you think it will change? The rich don’t care about America and certainly not the military.

  • Melody

    Is there anything WE can do to fight this travesty against healthcare?

    • Bob

      VOTE against this ungodly administration including ALL of them!

      Major US Army (Retired)

      • Joe

        Bob you sounding like it would change something to Vote against the current administration and have something like the past GOP administration. We need to have people who will clean up the mess that has been going on for so long–scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.

        Before I go any further I need to do some homework and really understand why they really lost their contract. Believe only half of what I hear.

        Retired Gunny

    • betsy ross

      FIRE Obama and Pelosi, impeach Reid . November 2012 can NOT come fast enough.

    • Tony

      Please read reply to Alan (above).

  • Tony

    So now that Triwest lost its appeal, what will happen to all us retirees that do not use the military hospitals and use local physicians? Will my present physician take this god awful United Health Group insurance? I had very few problems with Triwest/Tricare and now our amazing government is going to screw over millions…YET AGAIN!!!

    • Ray DeForge

      I agree, Tony. Now add to that the process of going on Medicare part A&B with “Tricare For Life” as the supplement coverage (?). I can pretty much guarantee that the supplement premiums will be much higher than Medicare premiums. Just another way for government to take money out of our pockets, and give it to the Corporations. VA hospitals are starting to look mighty attractive.
      I remember “back in the day” when me and my shipmates did everything ourselves – no contractors. And we did it better, faster and cheaper than any of them. As they say: “A bitching sailor is a happy sailor” – sooo true, HAHAHAHAHA :)

    • If they took TRICare before, they will probably still take TRICare, since all UHC will be doing is administering the benefits, not setting payment schedules

  • C. Boothe

    United health Care is the Company bailed out by the Obama administration to a tune of $85 Billion dollars and still owes the US Government , we the tax payers, over $60 Billion and GAO has reported that we proably will never see the rest of the money. IT has been reported that United Health Care is rated the worst in the business by JD powers and Consumer reports. Thanks Obama for your Health Care Fiasco

    • Casisevillano

      Any proof or you making this up as you go? I found nothing to support your claim. Thanks for the fairy tale. You must listen to Rush and “O’Really.”

      • Jaime

        I’m not an accountant nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express … You can read the UnitedHealthcare annual report at their Investor Relations website. They paid a dividend which would have been suspended if they were getting bailed out.

    • Katie

      I figured Obama just HAD to be behind this…UHC is obviously in his pocket just like AARP…it never ends and retirees, etc. mean nothing to this man.

    • Yvonna Lucas

      Okay that totally makes sense now that TriWest would be denied for a FOR PROFIT health care company that obama bailed out. Overall, I have been extremely happy with TriWest. I have never had any major problems with them. Now I foresee all kinds of problems with this bailed out obama health care company. People, I am telling you, this president needs to be prayed out of office in a big way!

  • Why am I not surprised. This is the most corrupt Administration in history. TriWest is an outstanding company. Sadly, we are losing a good friend to the military and our family members.

    • Casisevillano

      I guess you don’t mind wars based on lies? ‘Baby’ Bush’s claims that the war will pay for itself. ‘Daddy’ Bush’s promise to support rebels in Iraq during Desert Storm 1 and when America did not, thousands died. GOP’s rejection of ObamaCare even though it is RomneyCare with a coat of paint but the UHC was REQUIRED for Iraq by Bush. UHC not good enough for America but GOP realized Iraq needed it? hahaha Come on, Frank, try to keep up. I don’t like Obie but Bush makes Obie look like a pro.

  • jproctor

    B. you are a very small minded racial bigot, and finally wading thru your rant, you are also an ignorant idiot that doesn’t have a clue about you are ranting about. The article was about TriWest Healthcare, but no where in your ramblings did you mention them. One can only assume you missed your Meds this morning, so be a good little person and call the nurse.

  • Rutman

    Typical Obama Administration tactics. United Healthcare is in bed with SEIU. They received a 70 million bailout from the very president that is trying to ruin this Country.

  • Rutman
    • USAF vet

      Here’s yet another example of White House union cronyism. Wonder how much United Health gave to the dummycrats???

  • Pat Carter

    The old saying with a twist. IT AINT BROKE, SO LETS FIX IT

    What a crock. A deeper look into why this United Health Insurance might reveal what most of us believe. In bed with some Liberal yahoo

  • emoryv67

    Just when the goverment has somethig that really works with out any problem. The goverment has to jump in and mess it up as they useally do.

  • larry sayrs

    I don’t understand. If TriWest underbid United and has been giving good service what the hell is GAO doing contracting United. If TriWest Still owes the government money and is still underbidding, the government is stupid to cut them off. We will never get the money back it owes. Sometimes I think that the Government does’t like the people that protect it from its enemy , the outside world. Some of us are in pain for the rest of our lives because of what we did in the military and now we have to worry about health care tooooooo.
    O’well we were cannon fodder then and continue to be cannon fodder now.
    l.sayrs ret cwo

  • dave gray ret. usaf

    Is united health in the back pocket of people in the white house tri was good for all, what about the fixed income retirees and disabled disabled vets who don’t get any help from the value

    • John Wiles

      More like the White House is in the back pocket of UnitedHealth!

    • L Hoffmann usa ret

      You can bet some government officials or elected are profiting from the switch to United. Usually the GAO is pretty reliable and I have always had certain amount of respect for their findings…..not anymore. TriWest is great but now we military retired may find that our health care in some very deep do-do.

  • Linda

    In my “working years”, I was an RN in Home Health Care, and knew more than an average amount about various Insurances and their coverages. United, though far from the worst (Postal Workers Insurance beats all hands down), United is not the best either for covering and taking care of their insured. My employers had them as our coverage for only a few years before we all were switched to CIGNA, which was a definite improvement. We never had TRI WEST as an option in Colorado, but the Military Families that did, and that we cared for always knew they were cared for by the insurance when they needed it the most. As a receiver now of TRI WEST benefits (my husband is retired Military), we have experienced first hand the benefits, and found them to be fairly good (only once was I referred to a surgeon I did not want, and ended up with some unwanted permanent affects from this surgeons “poor job”). I did convey this to TRI WEST for future reference when referring to this surgeon.

  • M.C. Mumma III

    Trust in any of this current administration? How silly!

  • tleeb

    Just a quick reminder: the Tricare benefits are determined by our Congress. TriWest, and soon United Health Care, only administer those benefits. In other words, they do the paperwork, answer the phones, make the calculations, etc. They cannot reduce our benefits. Only Congress can do that. And, last I checked, half of Congress was controlled by Republicans. If you feel your benefits are going down the tubes, call your Representative, don’t blame Tricare, CHAMPUS, Medicare, Obamacare, or any other *.care, And don’t blame the White House.

    • Suzi

      OMG someone with a brain! Nicely stated tleeb.

      • Suzi

        I have a job thanks to my education and collect a very real paycheck thank you. Secondly, personal insults make you look ignorant, not me. If you are diagnosed with Cancer, Tricare will pay for that. It does depend on the type of coverage you have, for example Standard does have a deductible and a cost share which is a percentage based on whether you choose to use a network provider or a non network provider. If a person has TFL, Medicare will pay first and then TFL picks up the cost shares and deductibles. Any more questions? :)

        • Idmtmedic

          All because you did your research? Lmfao. Tell us god almighty, how much that cost?

          • Suzi

            Haha, good one. Now you are just blabbering. I am not even sure what you are asking. Are you asking how much it cost me to research? A little time and effort. is a good place to start if you are still confused.

          • Idmtmedic

            Not confused at all, seems you have all the answers except how much it costs. No premiums? Lmfao. Guess it’s free, what’s not to love about that?

  • Labsmeanmama

    I haven’t had such great luck with TriWest – my daughter turned 21 and we had no notice that her coverage had lapsed – our local clinic advised her to go to the Emergency Room for her bladder infection and $2,000 later TriWest informed us she had no coverage! Applying for a separate policy I had to pay three months premium upfront ($500) and all this on a widow’s pension – that is a travesty!

    • Suzi

      Not to be rude, but if she is 21 and not in school she should have a JOB and cover her own healthcare instead of relying on her widowed mother! If she is not eligible for coverage under you then she is obviously not in school as that is the requirement for keeping the free coverage until she is 23.

      • Idmtmedic

        Too late your rude………why not tell her how much coverage she will be paying for and at what cost? I’m certain YOU had coverage at that age right? Soooo a person making 10 dollars an hour at best is going to pay how much? Rent, food, gas, and then medical is going to make it better for everyone Lmfao. That insurance isn’t paying for her but for the elderly. You know……… That’s what SS was SUPPOSED to pay for. Guess what happened to that bank account? Pillaged, raided, stolen.

        • Suzi

          I agree that the premiums are higher now than they were and I do not agree with the ACA at all; however, yes I did happen to have coverage at that age. Do you know why I had coverage? I had a JOB, a rental home, a car and food in my fridge. I depended on myself because I was an adult and my parents taught me to be independent. I also put myself through college while working two jobs and raising three kids. I also agree that the SS system is broken as well. My point is that if her child were attending college she would be eligible to be covered under the family plan at no additional cost. That is the problem with these kids, parents today hand them everything. If she doesn’t want to attend school and continue being covered under the family plan, she will have to pay premiums and should not depend on her widowed mother to pay them for her.

          • Idmtmedic

            BS, YOU did not do that on your own. No Fn way. You either had loans, help from your parents or some other way don’t post BS.

  • Ray DeForge

    Is this just the first step in the eventual total takeover of the Tricare system by United Health Care (a misnomer, since UHC is a for-profit INSURANCE COMPANY)? If “Yes” (?), then; hopefully, I will be dead when that time comes. What Vietnam has failed to do, United Health Care will do – “waste’ my A** !

  • DiploBear

    The General Accounting Office used to be bi-partisan (Circa @ 1974) when liberals, progressives and socialists infiltrated what is now the Government “Accountability” Office; OXI-MORON if there ever was one.
    It is pathetic how these “watch dogs” have turned into lap-dogs, and not only where they sit; but what they “lap”.
    Harry & Nancy come to mind.


    C. Boothe’s message post above hit the nail on the head and here is what I pulled off Google regarding “United Healthcare” – “The troubled insurance fund for 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East’s personal-care workers will get a $70 million US government bailout this year under a deal struck in Albany, the second taxpayer assist in less than a year for the powerful union’s employee benefits fund.
    TOP WOOD – Retired Army REDLEG

  • Ruby

    AARP is run by United Health and I don’t know anyone who has AARP has had a problem with United HealthCare!


    TOP WOOD message continuation – Gov. Andrew Cuomo consented recently to prop up the union fund with about $50 million in Medicaid funding. The state Assembly—where lawmakers are closely allied with labor—pitched in with another $10 million drawn from a discretionary pool of Medicaid cash and disclosed in the budget. The Assembly contribution triggered a $10 million federal match”
    Since 2003 to date UHC has been contributing ‘big bucks’ to government officials and the unions so it is very clear to me that if you fork out the $$$$ you will win such bids as medical providers from our government. Those individuals that allowed TriWest to be denied retaining their current contract for active and retired military should be admonisted for their actions and I believe the US Govt Inspector General should look into this matter to see if the decision to grant UHC the contract in 2013 was legally valid.

  • factorystock

    Well it appears Obama has struck again ! I had United Healthcare with my employer and it sucked !!! Look for cuts and obstacles to run around. This is very sad indeed… When we drop something that worked and pay more for less , please get Obama out of the whitehouse…

    • mario

      Could you please explain how obama is to blame?

  • Steven Allen

    We have United Healthcare on my job as our Health Care provider. They have done a good job. I have not had any problems with claims. A matter of fact I was overcharged on a co-pay I was charged $50.00 on a $25.00 a month latter I got an appology letter in the mail and a refund check for the over payment.

  • Jesse Lopez

    Well, here they go again. Had United Health Care in my civilian city job. Boy they were s pain in the but to work with. Lots of paperwork, waiting for approvals or authorizing, and trying to figure out what they needed. Bunch of unprofessional individual and finally got rid of them as they kept adding more out of pocket expenses. The state employees also got rid of them. Good luck

  • SGM D

    Like others who have posted comments, I too had United coverage on my civilian job. Absolutely lousy. GAO really does some, to me, stupid things and really doesn’t care about the health care of others. Sad.

  • factorystock

    Who got the kick back on this deal ? I cannot believe how corrupt our elected officials are in Washington D.C. They use to hide it and now they just flont it out in the open because the American People either set on their butts or are to ingnorant to know what’s happening to them……. God have mercy on us !!!

  • Retired in Houston

    It’s time to write your Congressman and Senator and ask them to investigate
    GAO’s the decision that was made and how they arrived at giving United Health Care the contract. This looks fishy to me and I’ll bet I’m right. Write guys, write, write and have y our families write. REMEMBER, there is strength in numbers.

  • Paula L.

    Has anyone heard, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”. I have never had any problems with Tri-Care. If this new company is more expensive, it is we retirees that will foot the bulk of the bill. Why on earth would anyone in their right mind choose a company that is at the bottom of the ranks according to JD Powers?!

    • Tony

      please read reply to Alan by Tony. We are being “whipsawed” by one set of charlatons after another. A two party system is doomed to be electorally controlled by extremeists at either end of the curve. Unfortunately, no one has offered a viable third party because true moderates are afraid they will not be able to get the vote if they give up their party affiliation.

      BTW, Paula, never think your politicians are stupid, virtually all of them are very smart–they are corrupt–they have 40% of our hard earned money.

  • Allan

    United Health Care will not be taken by some physicians out here in the west coast because of there track record and passed billing procedures. Did Sen. Harry Reid get the kickback on this deal????? What about the governments contracting procedure about awarding the contract to a lower bidder, is the government throwing it out just for there own benefits of kickbacks.

    • Tony

      Not Reid, Obama–he is charge of kickbacks. When will people realize that we need a viable third party. A party that will represent the vast majority of people in the middle. For fifty years, at least, whe have had to choose between the “Sharks” and the “Bloodsuckers” who have gotten into office by manipulating the lunatic fringe at the extreme ends of the curve.

  • Fraud
  • A.L.Martin

    Having dealt with united healthcare from my spouses employment, and for the last 14 years, my mother cobras my fathers insurance after he passed, with confidence and conviction, they SUCK.

  • Ralph Petrin

    This is outrageous! Thank God my wife and I are covered by Tricare for Life and, according to Triwest spokesperson, we will not be effected by this travesty. I feel SO sorry for the people who will be impacted by this. I worked in the insurance business for years after retiring from the service and UHC and Blue Cross were the absolute bottom of the pile as far as service and treatment denials are concerned. What a mess! Horrible. We love you Triwest!

    • Bob H.

      I agree – every experience I’ve had with UHC has been awful.

  • Hebi41

    This article is pure, unadulterated click bait. All you see in the article is information from TriWest’s vast media campaign and lobbying efforts, i.e., propaganda, bankrolled by guess-who’s money. The writer throws his bait out, elicits obvious outrage and angry responses ranging from conspiracy theories to hateful threats, and the fires are stoked. Yes, I took the bait, too.

    I’ve had no problems with TriWest since coming under the TRICARE umbrella 10 years ago, but at least I’m willing to look beyond the status quo, research reasons why TriWest lost the bid and consider that there may be even BETTER alternatives out there.

    • Richard Peck

      I have been 100% satisfied with TRiwest and if it is not broken they should have left it alone. That is the good old boy/girl club for you. I can already see the messes we will have to face.

    • Retired CPO

      The company I worked for prior to retiring had United Health Care The company had so many complaints that they canceled before the contract was over and switched to BlueCross/blue shield. – I feel sorry for all that are stuck with it.

    • Galasso

      In 2006, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began investigating the conduct of UnitedHealth Group’s management and directors, for backdating of stock options. Investigations were also begun by the Internal Revenue Service and prosecutors in the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, who subpoenaed documents from the company. The investigations came to light after a series of probing stories in the Wall Street Journal in May 2006, discussing apparent backdating of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of stock options by UHC management.

    • Galasso

      In June 2006, the American Chiropractic Association filed a national class action lawsuit against the American Chiropractic Network (ACN), which is owned by UnitedHealth Group and administers chiropractic benefits, and against UnitedHealth Group itself, for alleged practices in violation of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Cannot believe they abandoned TRiWest. UHC also has a “unique” relationship with AARP (AARP has been strongly promoting Obamacare and has been investigated and called before Congress to explain its “tax free status”) . This whole thing has the smell and shine of a rotten mackeral in the moonlight.

  • dennis

    please trust the GAO, heard they are never there, to busy holding multi million conventions in Vegas and giving out 500.00 awards to the best drinker.

    • Neil

      I think you are mistaking GAO for GSA.

      • TomP

        May speak to the accuracy of his thoughts! <g>

  • Tony D.

    Well, I guess that we will see if the “PRECONDITION” will come into effect. If we have precodition is United Health Care still going to take care of us. Remember if you go to a new health care povider they won’t treat your excesting health problem (s).

  • Mark L.

    This is corruption at its worst! Their is no legitimate reason for this change.

    • Brenda

      This is the Republican controll Congress giving their insurance buddies a favor.

  • TomS

    Spent 15 terrible years with Untied Health. The worst customer service ever. Agents who were consistently unknowledgeable and even rude. I was never so happy when I experienced TriWest! I lobbied my representatives hard on this one. Too bad for all of us. What we need to do is start the complaints as soon as they take over and escalate, escalate, escalate!

    • SGM (Ret) Mc

      It really does not matter how much you complain until the time that the contract comes up for renewal, and even thewn not a whole lot. The Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs are throwing you under the bus because they couls care less about retirees. We were only useful to them while we were on Active Duty. Now we are nothing more to them than a monetary burden that needs to be cut away.

  • Thomas Hopkins

    I agree with Ralph Petrin that as a TriCare For life member this does not affect me but I feel that someone got bribed to accept a higher bidder at the GAO. This smells rotten and yes Congress should look in to it. It will cost the public and possibly active and future military members a lot. I blame the American Media for getting Obama elected and he should be voted out in November.

    • Arthur

      Your idea of blaming the President for what Congress does is silly. As a military retiree eligible for TriCare For Life, you should thank the President for the lower price you are paying for Medicare your primary provider. TriCare screwed us all when it comes to providing the healthcare we were promised. President Obama was nowhere around when that happened. Let’s hope it all works out well. If it does will you give President Obama the Credit?

      Arthur Beatty

      • Rene Retired US Army

        Yes I agree with Arthur. Why Blame Presiden Obaama he was never around.


      • Bob Dale

        HECK YES I will gladly give anyone the credit if deserved— BUT UHC SUCKS!!!!! and i have been dealing with them for 20 years in Medical Billing- Watch out and get ready for the UHC approach to Customer Servive

    • Brenda

      Obama is the best thing that happend to America, Blame the Republicans who are in controll of Congress they are the ones who did this use your eyes for what their for and thats to see.

      • Rich

        you need to wake up and open your eyes if you believe that

    • Ingrid

      Congress is the problem, not the current president!!!

    • Scotty

      Please, be quiet Ralph! You sound very stupid trying to blame the President for this. Get something else on your mind. Why don’t you go volunteer at a homeless dog shelter or something!

  • Patrick

    Maybe this is a ruse to make the retiree healthcare fail so the government will have an exceuse to lump us all in on the infamous “O Care”

    • Brenda

      Dont blame Obama blame Congress which is controlled by the Republicans

  • S. Moreland

    It is important to remember that TRICARE is the military health benefit, and TriWest, Humana, Healthnet and soon to be United Healthcare are companies/contractors who currently or will manage the benefit. The government decides what will be approved or denied, under the TRICARE program, not the indivdual contractor managing the program. When an authorization gets denied it’s based on TRICARE policy not the company policy. You will not be able to be denied coverage by United Healthcare because the contractor does not decide who is eligible for the military health benefit. DEERS decides eligibility for all TRICARE programs. Those eligible will not have United Healthcare insurance. They will have TRICARE, it will just be United Healthcare MANAGING it for the West region.

    • alhero01

      Check Untied Healthcare customer support rating. It’s not the benefits that we are concerned with but the customer service they provide and the higher cost to provide that service. How do you think will pay for the higher cost? WE WILL HAVE TO PAY FOR THIS ADDITIONAL COST.

      • LJW

        A company’s customer service record is a part of the government’s evaluation consideration in choosing who gets the contract, but a comparatively small part given the high importance of being able to process claims quicky and correctly. If United Healthcare’s customer service becomes a problem for TRICARE beneficiaries, the contract management team at TRICARE headquarters and the powers in the Health Affairs Office, DoD, are responsible for not providing approprite guidance and oversight. Let the contractor know you’re unhappy and also let the government people know.

        • alhero01

          This still does not answer the big question as to why the government approved a hight bid contract. We will have to pay for the pay off. UnitedHealth Care was the only major heath care provider that supported the Health care reform and this is there payoff. A payoff at our expense. You can try to justify this any way you like, but this will cost the vet’s more money for a poorly run program. We need to voice our opinion and demand the best program, that cost less with no payoffs.

        • Mrsuu

          How right you are. The old saying “Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk.”
          I didn’t see anything about how many complaints were made against TriCare and Express Scripts. I know that when I was unhappy with what services I received, I didn’t hesitate to pick up the phone and make my voice heard.

    • don

      Glad you commented this way it makes sense for those to understand how it all works…thanks.

    • B.Barker

      alright, someone that knows what they are talking about. I am in health care and do billing and coding. Most people does not understand how it works they should do more research on it before they make a fast commit. Just saying, not trying to be a smart*** about it.

      • B. Dale

        I am also in medical billing/coding and you MUSRT admit UHC is amongst the worst insurance company to deal with out there!!!

  • L.W. Miller

    I may have missed it but I do not remember being asked what I wanted or was given a chance to fill out a survey or questionnaire. I do not like our government making all the choices for us. I served 21 having them make most of my choices and I really upset at what is happening to us Vets. We have been thrown under the bus too many times so that some fat politician can get rich by taking bribes.

  • darrell

    This is just Standard Old Procedure for the government. If something isn’t broken, fix it! You then will have a broken system. Thank you for your constant inconsideration of military and their dependents.

  • disapointed

    “NOT Maybe” This is a plan to make the retiree healthcare fail so the government will have an exceuse to lump us all in on the infamous “O Care”

    Marxisim communist ideology where were headed

  • ED Pardilla

    I am a Tricare for life member & Me & my wife have been denied some of the benefit care by TRICARE & I know that this was instigated by Tri-West & not Tricare..

  • Mrs. P.

    I just cannot understand why members who receive TriCare services are never included in any changes that go on. Apparently writing to our congress people did not help. It seemed that it was a done deal earlier in the year before most of us received information on the change anyway.
    Whether you’re Republican or Democrat you need to vote out your representatives and senators who voted for this change. Forget about party affiliation. Health insurance should be the most important service you protect and have.

  • sneem

    Remamber United Health is in bed with AARP and big contributors to the Obama campaign. All you need to know.

    • alhero01

      I seem to remenber that United Health Care was one of the few health care providers that supported Obama Care. This is just a pay off. It does not matter if WE have to pay more for inferior customer care. AARP and United Health Care are not looking out for our best interest. We need to email our elected officials and stop this pay off.

  • andy

    So what are the new rules, I am I going to be able to plan for my lungs transplant in the future ?

  • lefty

    has this administration have their so called dedication to themselves and not their constituients they have their own bubble on health care and their family, so why should they care who pays the tab!!!!

  • Denise

    Since we (both retirees and active duty) are dealing with insurance companies, there will be both negative and positive treatment. Unfortunately my spouse and I have had more negative than positive responses from Tricare West the past three years. The worst was Tricare West reps telling the doctor and us that the emergency eye surger was ‘not necessary’ as the surgery would only prevent blindness, not ‘improve’ eyesite. It took the state insurance commissioner’s office to get that ruling corrected. So, I believe I will wait and see what this change brings, especially as the recipients seem to have little influence anyway.

  • Larry

    The awarding of the TRICARE contract to Humana, a Minnesota based contractor, is a political ploy by this administration to hurt Arizona, which is the HQ for Triwest. Arizona stands to lose many hundreds of jobs. It is no secret that Arizona has stood up in opposition to many of the feds recent policies and this is nothing more than an opportunity forthe fed to step on Arizona citizens one more time.

  • Galasso

    UHC has a 65% unfavorable rating with hospitals.

  • Richard Mashburn

    Have you ever heard the expression “poop runs down hill”? Well.we just had another deposit from our so called congress!

  • Anita Braddock

    Wow and the new Provider has no clue about Military Medical. so we will be the ones to suffer and will have higher costs just wonderful as if it isnt hard in this world no we have an insurance that will make our lives so much harder. thanks whomever did this

  • jim Boykins

    I have no reason to question Tricare as it was previously but I would like to know, since Tricare west is alledgedly cheaper, what were the Reasons that there needed to be a change????????????

  • No name

    I’ve been with Triwest/Tricare for 12 years and haven’t had any issues. I wish I had the power to impeach the current government, what a bunch of dumbasses!

  • D.L.Pompili

    TRICARE is jacking up premiums this year and next vass ist los ???

  • B. Allen

    Recipients of TRICARE should realize that the health care benefit is a subject totally seperate from the contractors who are responsible for the ADMINISTRATION of the benefit program. During my career I worked with as any as four different contractors, all very courteous and professional, but in my opinion, the “experts” were normally miltary retired who had experience with TRICARE and the contractor. In all cases, many were hired directly out of uniform. It isn’t wrong but it is certainly the “revolving door”. Perhaps someone new can bring fresh perspectives into the administration of the program, perhaps more efficiency; regardless, the program benefits will not change (TRICARE is a legislative mandate). If the contractor does not perform well (if the military establishment upholds their role as monitoring body and the GAO does their part of the review and approva), there will another contract. Anyway, lets not be naive, many of the employees are already looking to work for the new contractor. There will be a period of transition and perhaps a bit of confusion; it happens all the time, but that is not a rational reason to keep the same contractor.

  • Larry Rambo

    I have had no reason to complain about TriWest services. Typical government policy-If it is not broke-fix it anyway-I guarantee that we will suffer because of this change. What a bunch of idiots our government reps are. As some one else said-Obama probably mandated this knowing failure will occur and try to force Tricare users into some expensive , care restrictive plan of his making. Would this administration at least try to do something right?

  • Jim B

    It seems very interesting that the GAO would disallow Triwest’s challenge. Obviously the wonderful folks at GAO have never had the opportunity to have UHC as a provider of their insurance. My wife has UHC from her work and we have had nothing but a constant battle trying to get UHC to settle our claims. The majority of the good providers around here will not accept UHC so we are constantly searching for someone of good reputation to provide for her health care needs. As far as the relationship that AARP has with UHC, it seems to me that the only thing AAPR does these days is act as a front for various companies. I have given up my membership to AARP and strongly encourage others to do the same

  • ART

    I trust the GAO, congress, and above all the exalted President of the United States beyond all others. I have full confidence in the GAO, congress, and the President of the United States. There is no one else that I trust more than the GAO, congress, and the President of the United States. I trusted my recruiter in Lafayette Louisiana that I would never have to pay for medical if I retired from the military after 20 years. I trusted my recruiter in Lafayette Louisiana that the military will take care of me if I spend twenty years with them. I trust……….. (yea… right!)

  • WSH

    What does the President have to do with the fact taht sometimes contractors win, and sometimes they lose???????I do not get it????? What don’t people understand about rotating vendors and fair opportunity?????????

    • Tom P

      “Rotating” vendors? Since when is that part of the bidding process? To my, admittedly very limited, knowledge of the bidding process, there is nothing in there that spells out any requirement or recommendation to “rotate” vendors. Service, contract cost, and similar reasons are the bases for awarding or not awarding a contract or contract renewal.

      • goosefl

        Being a retired Senior Purchasing Agent you are right on. Something smells.

    • fred

      You are naive.

  • Carolyn

    If Ralph Petrin is right, as Thomas Hopkins seems to feel, “that someone got bribed to accept a higher bidder at the GAO.” Then this does indeed smell rotten and yes Congress should look in to it. It will cost the public and possibly active and future military members a lot. This would be just another reason why so many people feel heartsick at the corruption in our government.

  • Pat Petersdorff

    It doesn’t matter what we think or say, the govt will do exactly what it ‘feels’ needs to be done in our behalf. Obviously, no one in govt,so to speak, will ever experience what those of us who do rely on this insurance, have to endure.

  • matt. pair

    This do-not seem like an Obama idea to change the carrier. This appears to be a republcan idea.

    • kenking

      Wrong all of my Republicna reps are agenst it its the Dumbocraps idea. Plus I have been on United plans noting but trouble ever freking time us go to a doctor you have problyms United is the worst company out there I feel sorry for all of us vets having to use the crpay company

    • Bobby

      What planet do you live on. The only reasons the military have anything thing from pay to training, etc., is surely not in the Democrats column. As for Obama he really would do anything to hurt the military and defense and acts like he love us. BS. The dems tear down our military and its structure and the republicans have to come in and fix it. Look what Carter did to the military and Ronald Reagan built it back up. Constant process. For you to think that BHO had no input as I said you live on another planet.

      • Dan

        I bet you believe it was Reagan who gave that huge pay raise to the military in 81 too. If so you would be wrong it was Carter. The republicants are for the military industrial complex not the personnel. The democraps are more for the personnel but are for killing needed programs. That is why they both suck.If any of them gave a rats A$$ about the military they would work together instead of playing game while taking their salaries and corporate dollars while laughing at us. Look at the percentage of congressmen/women that have served, not very many less that 10 percent if even that high. So I believe you are living under a rock or just have your head buried somewhere!

    • dan c

      Maybe, your right. Lets see Hummmm nope it isn’t. GOA is apolitcial.

    • Bess Weber

      Looks like you failed school all together! And what are YOUR interests? Are you a veteran???

    • ehaze

      What planet do u live on…its the Dems who look after the vets and the RepubliCON Party that look after Defense Contractors…Stop watching Fox News

    • wrecker0650

      You sound like a stupid, illiterate who knows nothing. Just another racist person and for the filth in the White House and that is all you care about! You might try going back to school and learn proper grammar, spelling and sentence construction first!

    • HOPE

      How right you are MATT PAIR!

  • Gman

    I’m glad for a change (may not be any better w/the new vendor but…) as this year, it took me 6 months to get a $30 claim paid after continued denials. I kept escalating the matter but no one was willing to put the effort into resolving the issue until finally the last person got it resolved. TriWest sucks as far as I’m concerned.

    • goosefl

      Wait until you have to work with United Health Care.

  • B. Allen

    Is it me or am I the only who thinks that there is a paradox between someone who has served and sacrificed for their country, placed themselves in harm’s way, who swore an oath to fulfill their duty because of love of country and the apparent cynicism, disgust and implied hatred of that very governmnt? Unless I missed something. we still vote in this country, do we not? Apparently, if things are bad, might help if one looks in the mirror to see who is truly responsible.

  • TomP

    It’s Obama’s fault! It’s the Republican’s fault! It’s the fault of Congress! Okay, everybody who’s making these claims please explain to me how the decisions by the GAO are the fault of Obama, Republicans, Congress, etc. Maybe I’m just missing something but while I’ll be the first to admit that the decisions that were made certainly don’t seem logical to me, I don’t see how the blame or credit (depending on your viewpoint) for the decision can be shifted from whomever made the final decision to elected politicians.

  • goosefl

    They can’t explain it. Just blame everybody except the GAO

  • Bob Dale

    AS a Health Care Billing Manager with 20 years experience— ANYTHING having to do with UNITED HEALTH CARE is a royal pain in the ASS, they niclle dime you to death, deny just to save $$$, employ off shore Customer Services reps who cannot even speak english, BUT have names like FRANK, MARY, JOHN— WHAT a crock- THIS IS strictly POLITICS in action. MARK my works UHC will screw this up royally and watch the complaints increase

  • Doug

    Union fund receiving $70M government bailout
    The Business Review
    Date: Monday, June 11, 2012, 7:04am EDT

    The insurance fund for a health care workers’ union is receives a $70 million government bailout, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.

    The union, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, is receiving $50 million in Medicaid funding, $10 million from the Assembly and a $10 million federal match, the Journal reported.

    “Never watch a politicians mouth watch his/her feet”

    On the surface there appears to be a good chance that the awarded contract is just another sweetheart deal. Who could be suprised given the track record of the current administration . I feel that there would also have to be a failure in and complicancy of the reviewing agencies if this observation is correct. Both sides of the aisle must do a better job-the future of our country depends on it.

  • Rance Farrell

    I am very disappointed that TriWest was not awarded this contract. I have had extensive experience with this company and it has always been very positive, whether for my problems, including 2X knee and shoulder replacement, my friends, or those in my organization AUSA. They look for waysto say yes, not reasons to say no.And no company has been more supportive of vet and soldier services. Whether it’s for the Wounded Warriors, USO of any other such activity, TriWest has always been there to help out. A great company and I am befuddled as to why their original win was overturned or their protest denied.

  • procurement guy

    The procurement process for requirements like this is very very complicated, and has been honed over decades. Contrary to common opinion, the lowest proposed/bid price does not always win. Other factors are also considered, AND may be more important than price. Would you want your health care to go to the lowest bidder? Didn’t think so. So stop trying to find conspiracy because the lowest price didn’t win. You only exhibit how clueless you are about how the process really works.

  • Ann

    Congress needs to look into this and block the transfer until the investigation is done. TriWest has a good track record and it appears the new agency has a lousy one. If they need a bail out, how can they continue to provide the quality service that we are currently receiving from TriWest?

  • Mrsuu

    Tri Care for Life and TriWest are two different things. Tri Care is the name which the military has promised that we as retired or active duty will be cared for. Tri West is a company just like United is a company and both companies were bidding on the new contract. I am sure there were other companies bidding as well,etc. Keep in mind, when dealing with a goverment, either at city, state, or higher, the lowest bidder usually gets the bid, unless somebodies hands have been greased.
    Tri Care decides who is covered and what is covered regardless if United, or any other health care company has the contract. So don’t look at Obama, look at the next levels down. We elect Congressmen and Senators to do a job. Each department in the White House has a job to do and I am sure they do as much research as possible before a discission is made. Greased palms start at the bottom and work their way up. That’s why lobbist are paid so much money and if you lick their hands, it will taste like butter. So you need to look at the Congressmen and Senators to see who was pushing for this change.

    • alhero01

      Very well put. Bottom line, write your rep and senators and make sure that OUR best interest are at the forefront of this decision. Again, if UnitedHealth wins the bit and the bit is higher, that cost will be our cost.

      • Charlie

        TriCare is part of the DOD budget, the Sec of Defense calls the shots. The Senate and the House donot vote on what happens to TrikCare. They can holler at the Sec of Defense if it will do any good. The only person that can stop the Sec of Defense from making any changes to TriCare is the President.

        • retiree

          yes they do vote on TriCare, it’s part of the budget.

          US Constitution, Article I, Section 9:
          “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law”

          The only persons that can make changes to the laws are Congress.

          • Charlie

            Last October the payment schedule for the TriCare pharmaceutical plan changed. The decision to change the payment schedule was done by the President and the Secretary of Defense. Congress didn’t vote on the payment schedule change. Military health benefits is a line item on the DOD budget. Call your congressman/congresswoman.

    • Phil USAF Retired

      AF went to the BEST-bidding in the 1990s for many procurement actions, including general supply needs. “low” bids are not always from good-quality firms…. my paw-in-law says, “you get what you pay for”…

    • benbear

      You are correct and the brazen action that disregards all logic clearly demonstrates Lobbiest, crooked Congress persons that are for sale, and others who will support the American Taxpayer and Veterans getting riped off. Disgusting. The System is truly broken, very sad for the future of U.S.A.

    • Ken Fletcher

      Disagree. Obama controls through his “czars” (Obama political appointees selected since he has been in office) to insure failure of the current system. As in Obamacare no one knows what is in it until it implemented and than it is too late. That is a comment I paraphrased from Pelosi, who said she didn’t know what is in it, we just need to pass it. I agree that TriCare determines what care “should” be provided but it is the administrators that approve those cares and watch how much difficult with a new administrator to get those tests approved or paid for.

      • retiree

        Please. Those “czars” are the same positions that President George W. Bush had, as well s President Clinton. Many of them are Senate confirmed. And no, neither he nor his administration want “the current system” to fail. You may disagree with his politics, but I am certain, like the Republcans, President Obama and the Democrats do want the best for the US.

    • Tom

      Tricare west is terrible for retirees in the Philippes they deny claims dont respond to queries and delay delay delay.

      • Suzi

        Tricare West Region doesn’t cover the Philippines if that is what you were trying to say. Philippines would be Overseas coverage, maybe that is why your claims were denied, just a thought.

        • Idmtmedic

          Suzy, now is a good time to tell us who your working for? C’mon you can do it……..a concerned advocate? Veteran? Disabled Vet? A POS company plant? You want to know the facts? Get out of your ” Tobacco doesn’t kill” zone and get with the real world. Tell us the cost of ANY PROCEDURE after the deductible is met and how much that is for FREE premiums?

          • Suzi

            First off you spelled my name incorrectly even though it is right there in front of you. Second of all, there are no deductibles for Tricare for Life. I think you are confusing TFL with the retired program for those under 65. If you must know, I am married to a soldier and I do my research. I don’t agree with everything being changed; however I am educated on the facts. ;)

          • Idmtmedic

            Who are u working for??

          • Suzi

            Why does my employment matter so much to you? I am a Tricare Beneficiary and since this information affects my healthcare, I am educated on it.

          • Idmtmedic

            Because your FOS. You don’t “JUST” get educated on it. Your a wolf in sheep’s clothing and it shows.

          • Suzi

            Ok then. I am sorry you are so uninformed about how your benefits work and don’t understand how to find the information for yourself; however, that doesn’t mean that I should mirror you in that fact. I research the death out of stuff that affects my life and my family. i don’t care if you believe that or not, it is who I am and who I will always be. I will look into important facts until I am nearly sick about it because I care and I like to know what I am talking about. I have enjoyed this debate but I am going to bed now. Goodnight new friend. ;)

    • Justme

      You must be out of our mind, but it sounds like a dumb democrate protecting someone. First, they never read anything, so in hell could they ever have the slightest idea what its about.

    • Larry

      You are absolutely correct. Why blame Obama, look at all you congress. Don’t find another to oust Obama.

    • tqler

      Thank You.

  • Michael Moore

    Does this mean I have to choose a new doctor? If I do that’s really going to suck!

    • Tony

      That will be depending on your doctor Michael. If your doctor decides to drop it because they don’t want to deal with United health then yes you will have to changes doctors. I hope my doctor keeps mine. I actually found one that I like.

  • Bill

    I don’t really care who manages my Tri-Care insurance but I do care that there is less and less to manage. Why isn’t Tri-Care Prime available in my area in Mn right next to the Mayo in Rochester and two miles across the river in Wis it is?

  • Rpbert Chapman

    So, how much downside is there to this decision and will it cost us more?

    • DCW

      It is so easy for people to blame the President! If we as a nation have learned any thing by now, it’s this, what every Congress or anyone else, wants, its going to happen at all cost. Tri-care is working just fine for me and I personally don’t want a second-rate contractor handling my healthcare. However, I read that President Obama was trying to get healthcare for America, not take it away! As the saying goes, when you point the finger at someone else, three is pointed back at you! Who’s responsible for Contracts (GAO) and who is responsible for putting them in office? (those who hire them).

    • J.K. Taylor


      • Gina

        Well under UHC you still have Tricare West, TRIWEST just doesn’t administer it anymore.

  • tiger56

    Why not give us a subsidiary payment for our healthcare and let
    us get our own insurance, that would eliminate a lot of hassle.

    • Tony

      I like that idea. that’s the same as social security let me decide where I want to put my money not the GOV. or GAO, or any other government intity.

  • Retired USAF Msgt

    I am a retired military veteran who has been working in the private sector for 16 years. Many of those years the company which managed the medical benefits for my employer was United Health Care. They are no better or worse than any other company out there,, including TriWest. Yes, dealing with them at times can be a hair pulling experience, but I can say the same for Triwest. i do not expect we will see much difference in the service we receive from United.

  • olesearge

    The bottom line is while this action may not seem like it was “an Obama idea” it was the idiots in his administration and the damn democrats in the congress that have no clue!!! Why take a successful program, with a 16 year history of success, and replace it with United Health Care who has a terrible record. The real travesty is the fact the Tri-West bid was millions less than that of United Health Care. If we are trying to save money, to replace the money that Obama has pissed away over 3 1/2 years, why spend additional money? Yes, a rhetorical question. There is one solution, regardless of who provides health care to us, and that is to unass Obama on 2 November!!!

    • HOPE

      SORRY! get rid of those (old men) in Congress and the House of Rep. Then maybe we all will survive. The one that talks and looks like a Deadbeat on TV. (Another one hit’s the dust!)

  • TheDawgg

    Maybe this is why our Government is broke? The $100.00 Toilet Seat of the 60’s is back. Please leave our healthcare, what little we have, alone.TriWest had the lowest bit but, apparently, the lowest bribe payment to. Also we the consumers do not seem to have any say in who get our money. :(

    • Phil UASF Retired

      lowest is not always the best… UH has my employer’s account…. have to pay 8% of my base for it but I save THOUSANDS on drug coverage alone (SELDOM A CO-PAY). Try-and-GET-Care does nothing for us retirees UNLESS we pay HUNDREDS… and THEN at still a significant cost-share. THEY EVEN TOOK MY WIFE’S MS MEDS OFF OF THE FORMULARY…. GOOD RIDDANCE!!!!

      • TheDawgg

        I, also, am USAF Retired and I use E-Scripts for my meds most are free, I also have TriCare-Plus, $12.00 per Visit. I have had Champus/TrCare since I retired in 1991 Northern/Southern and Western so far no worries.
        Pay for my wife and granddaughter, we have custody of her.

  • Steve

    United Health has been supposedly working to integrate my Medicare and Tricare reimbursable account so that I can use it for almost 8 months with no success. It took them over a year to finally complete for a friend in the same situation. TriWest immediately completed getting my spouse’s coverage within a few days. I can see lots of issues with United Health as it appears they do not want to work with the military unless you somehow what to use United Heath as your provider.

  • usaf retired e6

    Didn’t have a problem with Tri-West for the most part. Maybe that’s why its changing. An entitlement program that works. So fn change it. There’s no doubt some sleezy congressman or even that sleezyObama had a hand in this multi billion dollar contract.

    • HOPE

      NO! United is the worst! think again, could be very problematic for the taxpayer. Too many TV adds, and AARP. GSA, you need help!

  • LizC.

    unless someone in the right place has it’s fingers in United Health insurance, why would the Gov. be wasting money on using them, especially when Triwest is already in place and things are working?…..Who up there is getting their pockets lined?……..and why are people setting back and letting this happen?

  • Darlene

    Has the House Ethics looked in to this?? Something doesn’t sound right.

  • Disappointed

    Here we go again..Congress A.K.A “Corperate Flunkies” and other Federal Corperate Flunkies will enjoy what they are getting for voting for a higher cost health care system. “OBAMACARE” here we come weather we won’t it or not.

    So how much more will we have to pay…and better yet, how much more will be added to the over half a trillion dollars we shell out to take care of illegals will i have to pay.

    And as far as a Government investigation. that would be like the Cartells investigating themselves for drug trafficing. You know nothing will come of it and it will just get swept under the rug like everything else.

    Again..A politician will promise you the moon to get elected and once they are in office they turn around, drop there pants and show you the moon they promised. I for one am tired of looking at there back sides.

  • Pinkcoyote

    Wlcome to OBAMA CARE

    • Randy

      Look into their records. Nice donation to Obama. Your right,Welcome to Obama Care

  • Wes

    Is anyone still capable of remembering the old say FUBAR? This is simply what continues to happen when congress and it’s inhabitants get their hands on or into government funded plans. Not much will change until something happens to affect change in that August organization and good luck with that.!!!!.

  • Guest

    I used to work for a military contractor who was under bid by another company. The new company which I now work for is a larger company, but they seem to have no clue what they are doing. The only reason the contract went like it did was because of their bid. Why was this not awarded on basis of the bid. Also the new company offered us United Healthcare, but nobody is taking it because it is to stinkin exspensive.

  • pat

    Has nothing to do with Obama. Has nothing to do with Republicans. Has to do with the bidding process and some lower level decider.

    • Randy

      Your an IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • ed dinges

        kind of like the pot calling the kettle BLACK

  • aywa

    Just one of many changes that will take place in the next few years. The current Congress and Leaders of this country are bound to see it fail. Protests, petitions and all of the yelling and screaming we do will not change the corupt governing of this country. It isn’t going to get better!

    • russh

      I agree 100%. Our government is for themselves since they are millionaires and we should ALL get a new breed in our government that believe what our forefathers wanted and not what they want. I wonde what ever happened to government listening to the citizens. I know our World War II and Korean war veterans are wondering also. Now they take away our social security and use it for other purposes. We have paid 30, 40, 50 years into this system for idiots in our government that want to use it for other means, to pay back debits, their constiguents, etc. We need to start over

  • Frank

    If United Healthcare works poorly for civilians, what the **** can they do for military beneficiaries and retirees? Expect poor
    service….. On purpose to save govt money.

  • stag6988

    I work in the Medical field, and I am retired Air Force, this has nothing to do with what people are calling obamacare, this is totally The GAO. A company that has provided 16 years of service to the military and retirees on the western side of USA is doing something correct. YOU GAO have made a grave mistake.

  • A. Kidwell

    Another case of government trying to fix something that ain’t broke.

    • Terry

      I totally agree. Only another example of a very sorry government spending tax dollars we the people do not have. We must try to make a change and elect the right folks to do the right thing for the taxpayers

  • Ron Kent

    Correct me if I am wrong. But I believe United Health CEOs pay a few years back was a whopping annual salary of 1.7 Billion dollars. Google it. AND Now, who got the kickbacks, and WE are supposed to be trying to cutback?

    • pat

      you are right hope they read all these?

  • Brenda

    We have had United Healthcare as a civilian.It was the worst insurance company we have ever had.All they do is delay payments and then deny them.We pidy giant premiums and in the end we should have not had insurance from them because we had so much out of pocket expences by denials.With all the deductables,co pays, and co insurance.You will hate United Healthcare!

  • richard barbee

    Grave Mistake Been retired 28 years-no problem with TriWest
    It seems they’ve over looked United Health Cares record. I would say someone
    greased some ones pocket. Just once more our Military takes in the shorts.

  • pat

    we make comments but for what? we say we the people but you pass us by we do not count anymore? this is really bad for us do they read these?

  • michael tiffany

    if it ain’t broke, don’t fixit. United is, and alway has been, a bunch of crooks. Why won’t you tell us how their bid was better. Michael Tiffany

  • CER

    It’s so reassuring to know that my government is listening to its citizens. I protested/petitioned against the award to United Healthcare along with millions of others and obviously, our government could care less. As an insulin dependent diabetic since the age of 5, I fear for myself and every other active duty, beneficiary, and veteran because United Healthcare is substandard and by far, inferior to TRIWEST. I must add that this is what I have come to expect from this entire administration and will be elated to see it change. Think I’m ready to ex-pat to Canada where at least, even though medicine is “socialized”, the government will support the insulin pump that my government “required” I be put on.

  • lmfarwell

    It’s only going to get worse with the bunch that we have in Congress and especially the Senate. Soon there will be no privledge in joining the military and I think that’s what they want!! United Health Care is not a good Prescription to work with, they have gave my sister nothing but problems and her husband would turn over in his grave if he knew she was having so much problem with them. It will be the same for us. It would cost me $25 for Diabetes strips and $25 for clicks if I buy a new and better Diabetes Meter. If I get the kind TriCare recommends it is $9.00 each for the time being. The Meter is very bulky and unhandy to use. No choice if you are on a fixed income.

  • Sailndayz

    When I investigated another UHC contract a few years ago, I discovered they’d been prosecuted for Medicare Fraud, and several State’s Attorney Generals and Insurance Commisioners had prosecuted them for unreasonable denial and delay of claims. Now we get stuck with them! Thanks Mr. President and your appointed henchmen? Please write to your Congressmen and request a full investigation. LTC, (Ret.).

  • jpharris

    I suffered the incompetent and disinterested “services” of UnitedHealthcare while serving as a senior executive in 3 Defense Contracting companies. Despite the fact that I opted for the highest level of service packages that our company made available, UnitedHealthcare was unquestionably the worst medical benefit plan I ever suffered. The commentor who described the competitive bid process was spot-on. Even though TriWest’s bid cost was lower and as the incumbent represented the highest level of past performance of any possible bidder, and therefore, the lowest risk of any possible bidder. With TriWest, there would have been zero turn-over and start-up time – for that size contract, I’d be amazed to see less than a year of trial and error at the expense of the users of the UnitedHealthcare system.

  • jpharris

    continuation of comment:
    There IS one way for all of us to fight back. The Government has in its acquisition regulations a process called “Termination”, to terminate an awarded contract from a contract awardee whose performance is documentably substandard. Terminations may be “for the convenience of the government”, “for cause”, “for default”, etc. If UnitedHealthcare proves to be an untenable solution for the services they’re supposed to deliver, we document, document, document, in letters, emails and phone calls every single complaint we file and demand answers and remediation of each flaw immediately.

  • jpharris

    Fill all of our Congressional Representatives’ communication channels with direct and copy to complaints to UnitedHealthcare and the Government Contract Agency that is ultimately responsible for management of that contract. Each time no timely or acceptable answer is received, forward the entire package to every local and national news organization, and copy that package to each office from which you have received no response.

  • jpharris

    continuation of comment: It is clearly obvious that many people have forgotten that our superb military is an ALL-VOLUNTEER force. Our troops are very aware of the accelerated erosion of the incentives for completing a military career. The best of them will leave first, recognizing that we are reliving post-Vietnam War treatment of the military. I love this country dearly and spent 46 years of my life in, and in direct support of, its military. I just joined the ACLU.

    • Retired Navy 61

      Part of your comment I agree with. The part about the superb military. I too served honorably for many years. However, your support of an organization’s agenda that for all practical purposes appears trying to undermine the very constitution that provides the freedoms we enjoy. Need an example ACLU is anti-Christian. ie. All the lawsuits about church nativity scenes,during the Christmas season, are on the church’s property, this is offensive to some who drive by. Well look the other way or find another route to your destination. Need another example. How about the ten commandments and ACLU’s quest to get it banned and removed from display in all public buildings. Need another example. How about VOLUNTARY prayer in a school, before an athletic event or a group of students who desire a little prayer time. Why would this be offensive to someone? What’s next on the list to be banned the pledge of allegiance! If this was universally applied it would be just a little more tolerable, but not . How come no other religion is restricted as such, only Christianity. What if another religion wanted to have a meeting on public property? You can bet your last dollar the ACLU would have a law suit in a New Your minute against the institution and/or individuals responsible for allowing this travesty of assembly. It would be against their constitutional right of assembly. Could it be the ACLU and their people are afraid of Christianity. If any of this offends someone then they should remember where they are in the USA land of the free home of the brave and so on. Like it or not this country WAS founded on a belief in GOD. Everyone has a right to believe as they desire. Perhaps you did research the ACLU and you agree with their agenda. If this is the case then I will just add you to my long list of godless lost people that need a touch from the creator of the Universe. My intent in this was not to insult your intelligence or cast aspersions on you in any way. Only to impart some information you may or may not be aware.
      I too love this country I do not desire to live anywhere else in the world. My been there done that wall in my office reflects my travels as I’m sure you have one also.
      Again, I thank you for your service to this country and may God richly bless you and yours.

      • Retired USAF

        I totally agree with “Retired Navy 61” … ACLU is the worst organization you can affilliate with … and for the many reasons he stated. ACLU has been in the forefront of destruction of our freedoms … the very foundations of our society. In fact, if you look at its history and beginnings, it was founded by an avowed communist. Check it’s history. It’s objectives have never changed … only it’s tactics … now they use every tactic in the name of “defending our freedom” … what a misleading direction … and of course many people are very gullible.

        • retiree

          ACLU has been heavily involved in DEFENDING the 1st Amendment rights of Americans. That includes defending the rights of minorities to peacefully protest, and the rights of people to peacefully assemble.

      • jpharris

        An enemy of my enemy is my friend. We (the less than 1% of the country that has served or is serving in the military) have NO advocate with strength or money enough to defend us from the cost-cutting inside decisions that are being made to pull money out of the Defense Budget. I don’t like or approve of the ACLU. The use of “Contractors” ; mercenary soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, is scorned by many, but I know first-hand that they are deeply respected and heavily utilized in extremely tough engagements. The thought that we’ve had to ootsource to commercial sources to get effective warriors doesn’t make me happy. But the LtCol, USMC was interviewed on TV about his (then Blackwater) contractors, he stated that “when the stuff goes down I want one right there and one right there” gesturing to both sides of himi. He concluded by saying “when a rifle is fired here, someone out there dies”. We have many lobbying organizations that are getting steamrollered by elected and appointed officials who treat the Constitution as if it were something written recently, and in pencil. More concentrated, smarter power is needed inside the Beltway in the 21st Century.

      • jpharris

        I most deeply respect your religious beliefs and dislike of actions taken by the ACLU that you find offensive. Unfortunately, I’m not aware of a single religous organization that cares a wit about Veterans’ Rights or broken promises from the Government. An enemy of my enemy is my friend. We have NO advocate with strength or money enough to defend us from the cost-cutting inside decisions that are being made to pull money out of the Defense Budget. I don’t like or approve of the ACLU. The use of “Contractors” ; mercenary soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, is scorned by many, but I know first-hand that they are deeply respected and heavily utilized in extremely tough engagements. The thought that we’ve had to ootsource to commercial sources to get effective warriors doesn’t make me happy. We have many lobbying organizations that are getting steamrollered by elected and appointed officials who treat the Constitution as if it were something written recently, and in pencil. More concentrated, smarter power is needed inside the Beltway in the 21st Century.

      • retiree

        You seriously need to start paying attention to the real news, not the Faux News channel. ACLU lawsuits were and are about nativity scenes ON PUBLIC LAND (town halls, etc). They have never sued a church for displaying a nativity. And they have also protested Mennorahs (Jewish) on public property.

        • Rich

          from the beginging we didn’t have any opposition of displaying nativity scenes, on public lands OR private lands until the ACLU came along and now the are trying to destroy everything this country was founded upon

          • retiree

            Amendment 1 to the Constitution:
            “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

            I swore to uphold and defend that.

  • S. Saunders

    I’ve worked in Medical billing for the past 20 years. United Healthcare STINKS! They were the first company to promulgate the method of handling claims known as “delay, dispute, deny”. They have offshored all their provider customer service and inquiry jobs to India, where you are doomed to speak with somebody named “Bambi or Steve” who speaks little english and doesn’t know anything they can’t read off their computer screen. .

    It is unfair to call this Obama-Care. I believe that eventually, the US will have a single payer system. What we have is not working, and our congressmen and senators are so far in the pockets of the insurance companies that we won’t be able to extract them as long as the UHC’s of the world believe there is money to be made. Every penny spent on paying CEO’s millions of dollars is one penny less to spend on providing healthcare to the folks who pay the premiums!

  • S. Saunders

    If this was Obamacare– my husband and I wouldn’t be paying $200 per month to keep our son, a full time college student, on Tricare. My sister is able to keep her two sons (ages 24 & 25) both of whom have finished college on her health insurance without any change in her premium. My sister-in-law is a retired Air Force civilian who is able to keep my 23 year old nephew on her insurance without a change in premium until he either turns 26 or gets a full time job with benefits. I’m SO glad my husband spent 20 years in the army!! When I questioned this, I was informed that Tricare is not an insurance company, and therefore is not subject to the same requirements that commercial insurance companies are.

    • AMSC(AW) Ret

      You are so right!! I looked into keeping our 21 year old on my health insurance policy. I am retired Navy (24 yrs) and I was told the price would be $200 per month!!! :( This is outrageous! My yearly premium isn’t that much yet to keep our child on the price is so steep. it’s like they are saying …go ahead, we’ll let you… AT A PRICE! But of BULL

  • pink rose

    I and my husband have been with TriWest for over 12 yrs. I have to say that
    they are an excellent Health Care, never had any problems. If I had any questions the personnel was great. Why is the Government changing things
    that we have never had any problem with? I never liked UHC and have friends that have UHC and they hate it, poor service, many complaints from the insured people. We need to change every one in Washington, they all live the HIGH LIFE and THEY DO NOT HAVE A CLUE HOW HARD IT IS IN THIS DAY AND AGE FOR THE OUTSIDE OF THEIR WORLD PEOPLE HAVE TO LIVE.

  • John

    I suggest that all Tricare users the start complaint process as soon as United delays or denies our claims. Put your complaint in writing and demand a fix within a week. When United fails to comply, elevate the complaint to Tricare. If Tricare doesn’t fix it, forward your letter to your members of congress. If we do this often enough, just perhaps we will get action. x ˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜

  • Bill

    I have had many dealings with United Health Care, both as a consumer and as a former business owner. They stink. We finally got paid some past bills owed us for three years. United Health Care is also associated with AARP which is in line to make millions off of Obamacare. That’s why they support it so heavily. The article stated Tri West was lowest bidder and had handled claims for 16 years. That ought to throw a red flag there as to the corrupt bureauacracy of the Obama administration.

  • bmore

    unless United is going to pay for Chiropractic care and insure children up to 26yr of age like others without additional cost why change. where I work I process medical claims and sometimes don’t understand why some people have United such high deductibles. If our senate and congress benefits are better than the military, something needs to change, make those benefits equal or better for the military who risk their lives for the freedom of others.

    • Marie

      You obviously don’t understand this change either, which is sad if you are a claims processor. UHC DOES NOT provide the coverage for TRICARE, only the personnel to administer the plan. Active Duty military members are able to choose Tricare Prime which provides FREE healthcare as long as the rules are followed. Retirees are also offered Premium free healthcare called Tricare Standard; however they are required to pay deductibles and minimal cost shares. I agree our vets need to be taken care of, but we also have to be realistic, healthcare is expensive.

  • Diane

    Every year for the past 30 years, as a mother, I have been fortunate to have had health insurance companies I could choose from. I will always remember one year I thought why not choose a higher ‘premier’ insurance company – $616 per month out of our pockets for this insurance company. NEVER AGAIN!!!! Doctors wanted your business – this test, that lab – ridiculous – Who benefits – I sure didn’t feel better – in fact I felt terrible – $616 lost monthly!!!!! It made me sick then and mad now! We are the goverrnment – of the people, for the people, by the people – that will not perish from this earth. We can elect our representatives but what happens after. I think we should look at lowering benefits for those serving our interests – not higher ones – if we are disappointed! Fire your boss! Who should we vote for – I am interested more and more in ?

  • Doug Harms

    With United in bed left-wing PAC AARP, this reeks once again of Solyndra-style crony capitalism. Hurry up, November, please!!!

    • Guest

      GAO doesn’t get elected, so November will change nothing about this.

      • Montanarancher

        The head of the GSA will change and some of the policies as well. Thank God for the ballot box!

        • retiree

          And GSA has what to do with this?

          Folks, approximately every 5 years the contracts get re-competed, as part of the standard Government effort to control costs. The proposals that are received are graded individually against the criteria established before the Request for Proposal is issued. What is graded is what is in the proposal, NOT what is real world with the companies. The closest to that is “past performance.”

          GAO looked at the protest, looked at the PROCESS that was used, and determined that the government had developed a fair process to grade the proposals AS WRITTEN, and that they had followed those procedures.

          That says nothing about the actual ability of either company to provide care. It says the competition was fairly competed. The best written proposal won.

  • Guest

    Who is the instigator for this change? before we blame the administration, I’d like to know more facts, rather than hear all this possibly baseless blame get thrown around at Pre., AARP, etc.

    • retiree

      The change was instigated by the routine re-compete of the TriCare contracts.

  • Bernard

    Is anyone out there listening, this change is a result of your elected SENATORS and CONGRESSMAN. THIS IS NOT OBAMACARE. The Insurance lobby have won another battle. OBAMACARE is forcing them to pay for things they would have never paid for in the past, so they paid off our elected officials (SENATORS & CONGRESSMAN) and got UHC appointed to replace Triwest. Now they can go forward with the campaign of Denying 75 percent of the claims, and overcharging for everything else, and that will replace all of the MONEY lost due to OBAMACARE.

    • Montanarancher

      November can’t come fast enough for me!

  • Eddie

    As usual the Government is getting their pals in on a good thing and the Vets.
    have to pay the price. Look and see who is behind wanting the change and
    follow the trail of money. I don’t know of anyone who is on Tricare that is not
    satisfied. Put the politicians on the same health plan as those who put their
    life on the line and watch what happens.

    • Elis Greene

      I agree with Eddie’s remarks. My TRICARE support has been very good!

      I agree with
      eddie’s recomendations to determine who initiateda change program and who gets the money, Putting all
      government persons (including Congress) on the same program makes sense.

  • Montanarancher

    I suspect that when all is said and done, we will discover that the contract went to a major Obama Supporter and not to the most qualified. Congressional investigation, anyone?

    • rmesfo

      The GSA, humm! Weren’t they just in the news about wasting all that tax money. I have had nothing but great service from Tricare. I think we all need to contact our fed reps and protest this decision. I am.

      • Montanarancher

        I’m with you! TriWest has been an excellent provider. But, maybe that’s the point. TriWest has made many other government health service providers look shoddy by comparison. The bureaucrats can’t have that. Better give the contract to a company with a record of unresponsiveness to patient needs, poor follow-up service, lack of experience and a proven inability to perform. Congress needs to look into this and do it as soon as possible.

      • retiree

        GAO (Government Accounting Office) is not the GSA (General Services Administration).

    • ward

      United Healthcare is a major opponent of the Affordable Care Act. It is not and Obama supporter.

  • dwb

    More money – less/eroded benefits – really crappy track record – forcing vets into the VA system. Just another reason for our active duty to get out and make a real life for themselves.

  • rkng1

    Worked for a hospital years ago that started to use UHC, lasted about 6 mos. before there were so many complaints that the personnel office went looking for a new health insurance company. I doubt their quality of service has improved. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That old adage still applies. As others have pointed out, the president doesn’t award these contracts. The General Accounting Office (GAO) with input from congress and house of representatives as well as senior medical officers of the respective military services are the ones who do the yay or nay.

  • George

    It is so sad and rather amazing that one man (Obama) could screw things up so quickly! He has apologized for America, He has trashed and made fun of the private sector job growers. Go see the movie people, it will open your eyes. America and the military is being put in a choke hold by Obama. It is called Obama”s America. It will open your eyes.

  • J.T.

    THe only hope here is that the TriCare System is so closely regulated that all UHC can do is administer the Program. TriWest has done a great job in following the prescription. One can only HOPE that UHC will do the same.

  • Leon

    Well if it doesn’t work out write you stupid Congress. Of course it won’t do any good, they probably are getting kick backs and election money from United Health. The best thing is a revolution! Get the jackasses out once and for good!!!!

  • Jim

    It just goes to show you the arrogance of this administration. I Just found out that my premium will increase by around eighty dollars next year. Why? It would seem that during these ‘hard times’ it would have made more sense to remain with the lowest responsible bid. If you look around you will see many other things changing in the military also. I can go off post and find cheaper gas, food, and many times clothing than I can on base. Can you believe that?

    • floye

      i thank the eight dollars is called kickback

    • Marie

      I don’t know what kind of plan you have, but none of the Tricare plans went up by $80.00 a year. The increases were not because of UHC, they are TRICARE increases. Tricare is still the insurance, UHC just handles the administrative stuff like processing.

  • MDS

    Follow the politics and money trail: Amy Klobuchar, Democrat, is the senior Senator from Minnesota; she was their first elected female Senator, as Minnesota did had a spouse of a former Senator that sat in for a short time, but she is the first “elected” one. In her run for the County Lawyer of the largest county in Minnesota and her Senate election, she carried about 60% of the votes. Many believe she will be the first female President….to include the NY Times.

    Think about what giving the contract to a Minnesota based company would do to drive her ratings and posture her for a run in the 2016 election, after the Republicans win the next Presidential election; Democrats are posturing for the future. Senator Klobuchar is a modern liberal, but very well known for being bipartisan, which has been President Obama’s downfall. She is a strong supporter of universal health care (ObamaCare) also called Socialized Medicine.

    • Charlie

      Socialized Medicine. Wouldn’t that in include VA Health Care, Medicare, TriCare

  • MDS

    Part 2 – From a Star Tribune article, “A bipartisan group from Minnesota’s congressional delegation sent a letter to the Defense Department Monday at UnitedHealth’s request. While they stopped short of calling the process wrong, the letter asked defense officials not to override the temporary GAO stop order while the GAO considers UnitedHealth’s protest.

    “When you look at it on costs, it should have gone to UnitedHealth,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who signed the letter along with Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., and Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn.

    Klobuchar said UnitedHealth officials asked for a letter of support in a conversation last week. Klobuchar said she thought it was “completely appropriate” to help UnitedHealth because the company employs so many Minnesotans.”

    She’s a lawyer, and was projected to be a Supreme Court Nominee as well. She knows the law and knows how to walk in the greay areas. UnitedHealth has been one of her top 20 contributers for campaign funding and medical industry companies rank as her #3 source of funding contributions.

    The information is public record. Follow the politics and money.

  • Dee Ross

    When I enlisted in the Navy in 1967, I was told after 20 years active duty I would receive free health care for life. When I retired in 1991, I was already having to pay a health care premium, a low one, but still a premium. While us veterans are receiving only health care for a cost (which does not include vision or dental), our congressmen and senators receive 100% health, vision, and dental for a single term in office. Does anyone see the injustice here? The veterans voluntarily enlisted to protect our country, and sufferred many injuries, deaths, and disabilities for their service. God bless America and our veterans! I pray each day that the Lord will do some “pruning” of our corrupt politicians and bring our government back in line with the religious principles which help create it initially. Thank you.

    • ktnavy

      Unfortunately, praying won’t do it. It’s action by people that make it happen…..just sayin’

    • gary

      The same thing was true in 1959 when I joined th USMC. I often wondered how many times our legislators thought of the guardians in uniform while getting an exam.

    • Bob

      Also after a congress/senate person serves only 1 term, they receive medical for their self and family. but we serve 20+ yrs and dont get what they receive. Must be nice.

    • Deborah

      Dee, this is so true. Why were the vets promised something and then have it pulled from under them, especially in times likes these. That’ s your THANK YOU for SERVING YOUR COUNTRY.

      • Deborah,

        Just because some Recruiters lied about Free Health Care for Life, that doesn’t me that Congress has to pass a bill, and the President sign it making it Law, and then Fund it also. I’ve heard you have to be smarter than a fifth grader. LOL

      • Deborah,

        What makes you think the Vets were promised TriWest????? This is real simple to understand TriWest lost the initial bid and then they protested it and lost the protest also. The bidding process isn’t something the military only does, this is the way things are done worldwide, and been going on for ages.

  • Tony

    Tricare wasn’t the greatest, but in the last 12 years of retirement I have had no issues to talk about. Now, United Health will start to take charge there should be a seamless transition and we should see no rate changes and less issues when we call in for custmer service…WHATEVER!! I picked up United Health as extra medical coverage when I was a contractor and all I ever recieved was a headache slow customer service, and poor service. I ended up dropping them and relying solely on Tricare, and they did me right. I never looked back until now…GOD help us all!!

    • Dr Mac

      United Health has been one of the worst health insurance carriers I have ever had to deal with over the past several years. Headaches galore to get medical and surgical services paid… The tactic has been to avoid paying for proper services by flagging them as “medical unnessary” which then rolls over paying for proper services to patients.
      In over 15 years, I have never had TriWest do this to my patients.
      When Tony writes “GOD help us all!!”, he is right.
      I am a retired Navy physician who has experienced both TriWest and United Health from both views – patient & provider. When TriWest departs, we can expect insurance payment denials to increase. United Health’s reputation preceedes its contract takeover.
      Dr Mac

    • JBerger

      I agree: GOD Help Us All, for we are in serious trouble with United Healthcare. Already hearing the horror stories!! They would rather we die then to pay for anything we need.

  • Bob

    When I retired and moved back to Idaho I when with tricare because it sounded good and was as long as no one got sick. When my young throat swolen shut and had to have emergency surgeroy and triwest said it wasn’t necessaryand I got stuck with all the bills and after that they disalolwed everything after that. I had better insurance (anywhere) after that but in the long run it did a lot in me looseing my home. When I lost my job in Idaho we moved to Missour and my wife talked me into trying tricare again and I was inpressed. May have not the best I had no compliants. Than we moved to New York and we signed up for Bassket Health and I don’t believe it can get better. So when when I heard that triwest lost there contract I wonder how many lives just got saved.

    • sarg

      sorry to here about your problem .i had cancer surgery. and three follow up sugerys .my doctor always contacted trywest. they payed like a halft to make shure the doctor hospistol.will except trycare for TOTAL PAYMENT.if you dont. the hospistol and doctor will charge you .probly your medical claims dept worded the clame wrond .

  • Jackson

    I wonder how much ARRP had to do with this debacle. The Dod and Gao are good at messing up a decent contract when they have no good reason but a few dollars which we will wind up eating!!

    • retiree

      Nothing. ARRP does NOT run the government. This was an internal decision happening at a time when the contract was up for recompete. Based on the submitted proposals, United Healthcare won. GAO determined that the government evaluators had set up fair criteria, and followed the correct procedures.

      This does NOT mean United is a great company, or even the best, it means their proposal showed, based on the criteria set up before RFP release, to be the best value to the government.

  • Beverly

    When are my brothers and sisters who served going to finally realize that the men/women who sit in the Senate/House and than go on to run for president are out of touch with people who include the middle class and poor. I believe that WE THE PEOPLE need to look at recruiting the middle class and poor to run for offices in our country…but they need to be people who will stay in touch and engage themselves with the middle class and poor. WE THE PEOPLE need to stand up and force change. As long as we don’t, CEOs and lobbyists will continue to influence decisions that Democrat and Republicans make.

  • yankeeworker

    Now that the contract is awarded, we as the end users have to change our tactics. The many of you who have delt with UBC and those of you who are new to this “experience”, should, might I suggest, watch them and document and make sure that your complaint is not only heard by “UBC” but by your national representatives. If you are not willing to do that, than collectively we are going to have to byte bullet or individually we will get “screwed”. Right now that is our only option.

  • Wow, this article is nice, my younger sister is analyzing these kinds
    of things, therefore I am going to let know her.

  • Andy

    People sitting around with no work to do. Workers coming in late and leaving early–long lunch breaks were the norm. People busy smoking cigarettes and surfing the internet. Lots of low tops and cleavage and tattoos… Higher Education was frowned upon. Lavish one month holiday vacations were the norm–administrative personnel living the good life… Right before TriWest submitted their bid we were told to ‘temporarily’ adjust claims, and then back to normal to deny everything… These people were out to lunch, surfing the internet, showing up late, leaving early, sitting around doing nothing. The screaming, the yelling, the temper trantums–the lavish vacations and leave of abseces. What a nightmare of laziness. These people lived the high life whilst the soldiers went without. Jeez P.S. The Prime Rib was dry.