Latest on Planned TRICARE Prime Rollback

By Tom Philpott – 

The TRICARE Management Activity has a new online tool for retirees under age 65 and surviving spouses to verify if their Prime network will end Oct. 1, forcing them to use TRICARE Standard.

With the new fiscal year, managed care networks operating beyond 40 miles of military treatment facilities or base closure sites will be halted under next-generation TRICARE support contracts.  The change, to impact 171,000 beneficiaries, is intended to cut TRICARE costs for taxpayers.

At the TRICARE Prime Service Area website, TRICARE users can type in their zip code and learn whether their Prime service area will exist after Sept. 30.  They also can find contact information for contractors and can sign up for email alerts on additional changes planned to Prime service areas.

[Editor’s Note: Thanks to one of our readers, the following excerpt from a recent DoD article may help some of the possibly affected retirees:

The new contracts limit Prime networks to regions within a 40-mile radius of military treatment facilities and in areas affected by the 2005 base closure and realignment process, she explained. But provisions will allow Prime beneficiaries who see providers outside the 40-mile service area to remain in Prime if they reside within 100 miles of an available primary care manager [Military Treatment Facility] and sign an access waiver, she added.” 

This Primer Access Waiver is for those who live within 100 miles of a Military Treatment Facility – i.e. military base.

Read the full DoD article at http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?ID=118969  or Click here to learn more about acccess or travel waivers.]

Read Tom Philpott’s ‘Military Update’ to learn how this will affect each of the three TRICARE regions.

Let your elected officials know how you feel about the cutting of TRICARE Prime.

About the Author

Terry Howell
Before becoming the Managing Editor for Military.com, 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.

99 Comments on "Latest on Planned TRICARE Prime Rollback"

  1. Reloader 2011,

    "Officials Announce TRICARE Prime Service Area Changes

    The new contracts limit Prime networks to regions within a 40-mile radius of military treatment facilities and in areas affected by the 2005 base closure and realignment process, she explained. But provisions will allow Prime beneficiaries who see providers outside the 40-mile service area to remain in Prime if they reside within 100 miles of an available primary care manager and sign an access waiver, she added."

    http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?ID=1

  2. What about people that are over 65? I am 100% disabled vet and have an autistic son who is 12. Do I lose TRICARE PRIME for him?

  3. Nice info, now explain WHY this is necessary to CUT benefits for those living beyond 40 miles?

  4. Reloader 2011 | February 22, 2013 at 9:51 am |

    I have been told by Tricare that there is no change to those who have signed the mileage waiver. This is another scare tactic. If you don't believe me call Tricare and they will explain it to you. I called them!

  5. I'm appauled. Just more broken promises after I served my country for over 26 years. Our government is an embarrassment. This nation isn't what it once was and if we continue going down this path, we'll fall apart. I read an article that stated that "retired military families don't deserve anything more than the rest of America, they're no different." I beg to differ. Whoever wrote that is a complete moron who obviously failed to serve his/her country. This makes me sick as we have no say in it what so ever.

  6. In this article I can't find anything about cutting Welfare; Aid to illegal Aliens and Medicaid .Also what about cutting financial care for women who have had so many children out of Wedlock? The number out of Wedlock children should be set at two it is just possible two children could be a mistake. You have to look at this this way, they all voted for our Fearless Spender in Chief, with the possible exception of illegal aliens. (Because they are non-Citizens.) They will be allowed to continue to suck at the government teat we have earned our medical care; and have paid for it in advance, with at least 20 years of honorable military service. On the other hand I guess we military retires just have to get their priorities straight

  7. In the grand scheme of things it doesn't even matter. They're going to do what they want to do and the men and women who fought for this country will never have a say in anything! They may have a say but no one is going to listen. How very sad.

  8. We the Vet/Retire and disabled Vet need to take a lesson out of M L Kings book and organize a march on the Capital. They won't listen until we jamm it down there throat, like they do to us.
    P.S. Bring the family, BUT PLEASE DON'T LET John Kerry or Sen Hagel know were coming

  9. So basically, we'll have two classes of retirees: those with a choice of Prime or Standard, and those without the choice. Another broken promise.
    While I go to the VA, my family cannot. That would help to alleviate the costs.
    I've also read that the cost of providing military care to retirees (aka TRICARE) continues to go down.
    TRICARE Young Adult (TYA) is a farce. They don't "continue on their parents' policy" as in Obamacare, it's a completely separate policy for them. It cost 4X what I pay for TRICARE Prime for the family. I can't pay it via an allotment from my retirement check. They won't send a bill. It has to come from his/her bank account. It was cheaper to use his college medical plan.

  10. Not only does Tricare Screw the Retired Vet but also the VA get us too my last visit to the VA went from $15.00 to $50.00 this is totally unfair and a breach of contract with Vets that were promised Care for life upon retirement.

  11. This rule has been in place for years. When the retirees initially enrolled in PRIME, the TRICARE office would tell the retirees they had the option of getting a network provider near their home or driving the 40-100 miles to the nearest military treatment facility for care. The retirees that opted for a network provider usually couldn't find one so alot of them paid out of pocket costs……sounds like more civilian providers aren't taking on TRICARE patients

    Every retiree(and family)is automatically on Standard which is basically the old "CHAMPUS"……we old timers know how well this worked for retirees and their dependants!!

  12. Namvet: This country will be judged on how well it treats its Veterans. Don't think other countrys are not taking notice. For a country to fall, all it has to do is make second class citizens of the Patriotic men and women who gave there all for love of country. To split the country between the cream of the crop of society and the loafers, and complainers who would not lift a finger for the country is plane stupid. Together we stand and divided we fall. The doomsayers who think the country will forever treat them well, may well be in for a shock. The elite (they think) will fall the hardest should this country go down. What you do to the best citizens in a country is the future in the end for that country. God bless all our service and especiaaly the VETS

  13. Get used to it. There was a time when military members encouraged their children to join the military. I can truly say those days are gone. They made some of the best in the military because they were brought up in the environment from birth. I was not one of those, I came in from the outside so mine is just an observation. However getting back to my point, I've done everything to keep my college educated children from taking one step into or even consider service to our country. If they do I've made them very aware of not believing a word of the promises that roll off their lying lips. Guys/Gals we would be better off if we renounced our citzenship left the country and then sneak back in. We'll be taken care of then as illegals are better off than we are goung to be.

  14. It is once again futher proff thatour goverment cares nothing for the people that protect there "butts", while they sit back and rep $$$ at our expence.
    For instance there are 1000's of us who have served 20 or more years on active service… and still do not have a GI Bill of any type.

  15. TRICARE standard is like no healthcare at all. You can hardly find decent healthcare providers that accept TRICARE. Most that accept TRICARE, are in questionable areas of town and have trashy offices. No one likes to take TRICARE because it doesn't pay and the red tape drives everyone crazy. This action is really amounting to the government taking away healthcare benefits to 171,000 retirees and defaulting on the promise for healthcare to retirees. Using the term roll back doesn't change the facts. It is no roll back, it is elimination.

  16. Forcing the veterans who served there country for most of their adult lives to buy their own insurance! Just what Obama wanted in the first place !!

    If every veteran and their family member doesn't contact their representatives and bitch then you get what you deserve!! I’ve written several letters already and getting ready to fire off a few more !! I got nothing but time !!

  17. Proud soldiers wife | February 25, 2013 at 9:04 pm |

    But let us support the drug addicted, failure to thrive/work citizens and give them our full attention of Welfare and good insurance to boot. Does no one else see this as a huge problem?! I am sickened there are women without their husbands, children without their parents, parents without their children for what reason? To protect this country and any cost with their life if need be. And we as a nation founded on pride and freedom allow this? Our veterans and family members deserve the world. We are such a back sliding country anymore. It devastates me.

  18. So they are taking away health care for military retirees in order to pay for ObamaCare? Why doesn't the press report on this??

  19. I just moved to Dallas, looks like I will have to now move to an area where there is a base, no jobs but who cares, we only gave 20 years of our lives for what? Broken promises….thanks Obama

  20. https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/stop-ta

    I started this petition, PLEASE, sign it and get it out to friends and family, OR, start your own petition. We need to fight back.

  21. I'm a retired military wife and I'm so appalled about this new law. We will be affected by it. I just wrote our elected officials. I encourage everyone to do this, just so they know we are so not okay with this.

  22. Just curious, have you used standard? I recently retired and chose standard so I could actually have choices. My wife had medical problems that military doctors have been miss diagnosing for years. We are finally able to see specialist of our own choosing without having to wait for referrals and so far we haven’t even spent as much as the prime enrollment fee cost. I am very satisfied with standard. Just my 2cents.

  23. I am not a Native American, but now I sort of know what it feel's like, when the Government promise you something, and when it best service their need, that turn around and take it back. I was promise that if I enter the Service and do my 20 years, that I would be free Health Care for Live. Now we have to pay for it. Granted it's not near as expensive as Health Care for non-military. But still now if you live out side of 40 miles, they want to give you a cheap MMO, which no Doctor wants. We need to bring a Class Action Law Suite against the Government, for Breach of Contract. Or what ever they want to call it. Nothing but Bull. You know what.

  24. Let me get this stright…they are cutting out our Tri Care Prime for our family members to "cut the cost to the tax payers"? What the hell does that mean. First of all I was promiced medical care for my spouce if I stayed 20 years and second I don't ever remember getting a damn pay check that I didn't pay taxes while I was in the military. What we have now in Washington is a bunch of anti military people both Democrat and Republicans along with a President who is and has been promoting a Socialist way of life. The U.S. Constitution is ignored "WE THE PEOPLE" hasen't been considered or listened to in the past four years. Our country is in grave danger, our military is no longer able or prepared to defend the United States, we have lost our world credit rating, and those that HATE us which are many are constantly being praised by someone who calls himself "President". We as a country are no longer "THE" super power and we are not feared by anyone especially those who dispise us. What is wrong with the American people? Those of us who give a dam are but a small minority to those who seem to be blind and dumb. Writing letters, making phone calls, sending e-mails to our Senators and Congressmen does nothing. Maybe it's time we need to have a "SPRING Uprising" in this country to get all those crooks up in Washington something to think about. Our freedoms who millions of Father, Mothers,Sons, Daughters, Aunts and Uncles have fought, bleed and died for is being taken away day by day and no one is doing anything about it. What kind of people have we become?

  25. Interesting how Obama care private insurance scam is going to affect everybody as the end deal is to force all people that earn a living into buying private insurance affordable or not.

    Still I my husband and I have been on prime for over 10 years, now we see the results of so call "tax payers saving" even when we are tax payers still, higher premiums, more copay payments and service equal to Medicaid, at least Medicaid is free.

    That is what the overall goal of cutting and nipping Tricare seems to be, you pay more get substandard services, now who is saving here, is no me or my husband that is for sure.

  26. Roy Roberts CW4 ret. | February 25, 2013 at 11:26 pm |

    32 years served, 8years air force e-6, 28 years army cw4, 3 wars, retirement and medical benefits for self and family. Now tri-care prime costs increase, maybe gone,co-pays going up again.promises,promises, all broken.Have 2 sons soon to be military retired,what do I tell them? Who is going to be our future soldiers,I'll not lie to my grandsons.

  27. Enter text right here!The government treats the vets & their dependents like our forefathers treated the indians. Promise anything to get their way & break those promises when convenient. I encouraged my husband to make a career of the navy because whe both believed those promises. I am now 77 years old & have TRICARE FOR LIFE. That will be next to go. I wonder if all we old folks will be rounded up & put on reservations.

  28. And the POTUS and his cronnies have complete health care for the rest of the their lives!!

  29. Da President Obama needs to say Aloha! Good bye! and just get out off his sit in the White House and give it up to a better true man. That's what happen when this guy have NO military back bone!

    I served for 24 years in the U.S Army. Hooah!

  30. TRICARE rollback ? now that is an interesting spin. This is more than sugar coating, it is just wrong. TRICARE standard is not fit for your pets, let alone your family. No one in the upper echelons of the military have ANY idea what TRICARE standard is like. This is like being paid with three dollar bills. It is smoke and mirrors.
    The docs bill TRICARE, TRICARE sends the bill back to the Doc, The doc waits a year and both the doc and TRICARE tell you that you owe the money because the bill wasnt paid within a year. That is, IF, you can find a doc that accepts Tricare!

  31. MSgt. John DeLallo | February 26, 2013 at 1:41 am |

    You gotta be shitting me? Do you mean to tell me that you, yeah you, private Obama, are going to balance the fucking budget on the backs of 171,000 TRI-CARE Prime recipients? Is that what you're telling me? Commander in Chief my ass. I have more time taking a dump than you have total time in service. And to think I spent 20 years guarding the gates of Freedom so a piece of shit like you could sweet talk his way into the presidency. You make me want to puke.

  32. When Rumsfeld was SECDEF he fired most generals that were not YES men. Since that time it seems like Duty, Honor, Country has become to an extent, Me, Myself and I. So throw the retirees under the bus! TRICARE standard is sufficient to check the block saying healthcare is available.

  33. "TRICARE Prime Rollback" now that is like calling deployment orders to Afghanistan winning an all expenses paid vacation to a far off exotic place.

  34. Wow,

    We have many people who incorrectly blame these cuts on Obama. When in reality, the republicans (Thanks GW and friends) started us down this irresponsible spending road years ago. Now, the president has, wants and NEEDS to spend money to fix things and all he does is catch hell from the repubs in congress. The IGNORANT REPUBS are the problem. 2010.. The Tea Party cry babies about spending and all they want to do is CUT. So, all us government/federal workers and retirees have to accept the cuts and the REPUBS love it. VOTE DEMOCRAT!! Remember, rebubs hate government!

  35. Michael Parker | February 26, 2013 at 5:57 am |

    I have seen eariler reports on this comming and have sent a letter to the "ELECTED OFFICALS" by using the option at the bottom of the report. I hope everyone that has made a comment here has used that same option, I have also made sure to forward the report to all my Military friends so they too could send in letter to the Elected officals, remember only the Squeaky Wheel get the grease…………. send in lots of letters to them…

  36. This is bull…t. The govt forcing more of their polical crap down our neck. Standard sucks!!!!

  37. This is not right!!!; WE THE PEOPLE; includes WE THE MILITARY and dependants of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA…. or is it?
    We gave our lives and family to this great country- and this is what we get back? Cut backs!!. You the people of WA — get your head out of the sand; to say it nicely. and pray to God that you are putting US, the People in His hands and let Him guide your decisions. Do not cut back the military insurance choices and give us NO choice but to go Standard, or find your own insurance. Insurance won't pick up new patients and won't accept exsisting conditions. so where does that leave US retirees? Out in the cold. Obama keeps raising taxes, Tricare keeps raising our costs and enrollments; haven't you done enough damage to US who have served this country well and managed to survive only to get this type of life? Worries of cutbacks. Who voted to have him back another term? Oh, also the senate. YOU ARE NOT LISTENING… WE THE PEOPLE.- LISTEN…

  38. This what happens when people vote for John McCain–he suggested it and now it's actually happening

  39. Eric Schmidt | February 26, 2013 at 7:06 am |

    I have written and lets say the responses are nothing but lip service. Anyone know of an MTF that will take a retiree and their dependents? I have asked three and was told to enroll in TRICARE as they had no room. MTFs on the whole have had their services rolled back or closed entirely. So much for promises. Didn't realize I and other veterans were a burden on the taxpayer.

  40. Great. I have a better idea how about members of congress and the rest of the croonies, should get the same health care system. I

    There is a reason why members sign up for prime. Because they are actually seen and the BILL gets paid, and the service is better.

  41. MistahKurtzHeDead | February 26, 2013 at 7:13 am |

    You ain't seen nothin' yet. This is just the beginning. As the Obama Administration continues to divert more and more money from the Middle Class to the Poor more Veterans Benefits will disappear. A Frog placed in Hot Water will immediately jump out. A Frog placed in Cold Water will stay and continue to stay as you gradually increase the heat until it is cooked. Obama is gradually increasing the heat on the American Frog People.

  42. As some of you have sent emails to our elected officials, I too did the same. I agree, they do send back a response but it was merely lip service. There was nothing of substance in their letters. Why do our elected officials continue to talk about giving criminals (illegal aliens) amnesty and spend BILLIONS of dollars every year on them and tell the military community to"suck it up". They use the tax payer as an excuse to continue to abuse the military but could care less about the taxpayer when it comes to the illegal aliens (who are criminals). Washington is truly broken. And as far as WE THE PEOPLE, it no longer exists. It is US THE GOVERNMENT. They are supposed to serve us, but it sure seems the other way around.

  43. Demand that all politicians use Military Troop Facality (active military take priority) or TRICARE while in office (provided they can find a doctor to accept them (if they do that doctor MUST accept military and retirees in the general area as well). Once they are out of office, they should fall back on Obamacare until they are 65 and then go on Medicare. Remember the constitution states "Congress shall not enact any law for themselves that do not apply to the general public". The way, I look at it is that there healthcare system is unconstitutional! IT THEY HAD TO FOLLOW THIS, WATCH HOW TRICARE WOULD BE PROTECTED!

  44. Now WE have learned. Don't vote for anyone that now
    holds an office again, I knoew it is to late for Obama, But Vote all Out and vote for a veteran.

  45. Re-elect nobody!

  46. Well so much for my children, huh?
    Thanks USAF for the f-ing again.
    It just never stops.
    They take and they take and they take…
    Hey active duty guys… it will happen to you too. Don't go feeling special.
    Do not count on any of the promises.

  47. From the Army Times Jan 10, 2013:

    "The Pentagon estimates the cuts will save the government $45 million to $65 million a year."

    That doesn't seem like a lot of money from the DOD budget. I bet the mileage distance will be reduced to 25 miles, then 15 miles, then just eliminated altogether over the next 20 years. It has to be done in small voting blocks.

  48. James thompson | February 26, 2013 at 9:17 am |

    How does this impact Disabled Veterens that have reached the age of 65.

  49. I ran my zipcode and got: "you will: Use TRICARE Standard and Extra, which is consistently rated highly in beneficiary surveys. "

    Oh, ain't it sweet how they bullsheet me with how well it is rated. I don't care about the rating, as it is not tricare who is SEEING me, but is the one screwing up it being paid for. I do care about how much it is COSTING me. The promise of free healthcare went to paying for it, and now the government see's a way to pay less by charging us more. They made the promise, I met the requirements, it should not change.
    Give it time, they'll do away with this favor they think they are doing us, and we'll be stuck with no health insurance. Well, even that said, tricare is not insurance… another legal monicker that let's them get away with crap.

  50. Wayne D. Levens Sr. | February 26, 2013 at 9:37 am |

    I would gladly pay more up front for Tri-Care prime (for my wife) than have to pay the required fees for Tri-care Standard. It seems like the older we get the more the Obama/McCain cronies think we are a burden. SHAME ON YOU John McCain! You have forgotten the men and women who served with you! I myself am on Medicare(which I pay for monthly) & Tri-Care for Life. I also thought that my country was going to take care of me after 20+ years of service. I do however feel lucky to have what I have compared to some of my neighbors.
    Most of the people serving(them selves) in Washington are millionaires who should not need any retirement or government sponsored retirement. They run on the preface that they want to do what is best for the the AMERICAN CITIZENS but seem to be more concerned about the ILLEGAL ALIENS in this country.
    Maybe we need to a show of force and MARCH ON WASHINGTON to show them how many voters they are screwing over! I know we are not supposed to buck the chain of command! (OBAMA – Commander and Chief) but I never let a senior Officer/NCO screw me when I was on active duty. There were always avenues of recourse.
    GOD BLESS AMERICA & ALL MY FELOW VETS. (SFC/RET.)

  51. annual checkups and preventive care? That used to be covered under Prime plus a co-pay, now its money out of pocket til deductible, then money plus "cost sharing" thereafter. What I was paying for Prime will more or less be lost to this plan very quickly. The government saves a few dollars so we can be robbed of many.
    But it is out government. Consistent and stealing, and at not doing its job of approving a budget, let alone gross mishandling of money.

    I am embarassed and borderline ashamed I defended it with my life for 27 years active duty.

  52. Pandora's box has been open. First they increased rates, and by law can up to our COLA each year. For 171,000 of us, that doesn't matter now, as that aspect has been stolen from us and now paying from our pocket continuously (more than under Prime) is forced upon us. The box is open, and things are gaining speed. What next year? Taking Standard? Doubling Prime for those few soles who are by an installation? And then what, close more installations? Force them off Prime?

    No disrespect to those who are by an installation, but why the double standard? Why can they get it but we can't? Prime is prime – they can be seen off base under the coverage, so why can't we?

  53. Rhonda(retiree wife) | February 26, 2013 at 9:51 am |

    I was on tricare standard and it was costing alot more than enrolling in prime and paying copays. My son and husband are both disabled and have many doctors and appointments. Therefore I cannot afford to pay for standard costs. Been there and done that and it cost alot more to be on standard. That is our main reason for being on Prime. AND if we move , sell our house that we have been in for 12 years, whos to say that after we move they don't change it again and then it becomes a vicious cycle. Stop taking away all of the benefits that were promised when we were retiring after 22 years. I say the general public and military needs to march on washington and let them know that WE WILL
    NOT CONTINUE TO GET THE SHAFT FROM THEM.

  54. What else should be expected from the imperial presidency we have put up with for the last 4+ years. We need to remove all of the libs from office.

  55. Someone has to sacrifice. So we need to take healthcare away from Military Retirees in order to ensure that illegal alien drug smugglers have the best healthcare (Obama Care). In this way the flow of good cocaine will continue to get to Washington DC.

  56. Irate Veteran | February 26, 2013 at 11:07 am |

    Why does our Government send millions of dollars in aid to the Middle East, to people who hate us and murder even those who are not involved in the military? Why do we pay for this by losing our promised benefits? Send Obama over there to fight. Let him experience the horror our men and women are going through. It's all about the POWER those people want. They are not wanting democracy … they want us to help them keep their power in controlling the wealth. Get out of there!!! Bring our armed forces home and stop giving those countries aid.

  57. There is an option in this story where you can put in your zip code to find out if you are going to lose Prime. We were surprised to see that we won't lose it. We wouldn't want to go on Standard but we would have the option to go on the Johns Hopkins plan…..check to see if you have a plan like Hopkins in your area.

  58. Frank Sanchez | February 26, 2013 at 12:14 pm |

    I signed up at a time when militarly were considered either too stupid to make it as a civiliian or too lazy. But I signed up. I served proudly and took orders. Comes desert storm and the Iraq-Kuwait war and all of a sudden we are important when the oil company's bottom line is in danger. Then we are the best of the best and everyones hero. Now that all the dust has settled and the memories of 911 and Iraq are fading we get the old "thanks a lot now quietly GO AWAY".

  59. Frank Sanchez | February 26, 2013 at 12:15 pm |

    That's always been the story for the military we are the junk yard dog no one wants to see but are so glad for when the S—–T hits the fan. It was the same for WW1 vets and the bonus army. The country forgot them and the promises that were made to them. In WW2 the returning vets were forgotten. And the same for Korea and Vietnam. Now it's my generations turn to be put in history's dust bin.

  60. Frank Sanchez | February 26, 2013 at 12:16 pm |

    When are we going to stop being sheep! When are we going to instill fear in the people who are supposed to look out for our interests, our elected officials. We have forgotten that governments should fear the people who elect them not the other way around. We the people need to rise up and show Washington that we will not be forgotten. We need to be a force to content with! I heard it said once that "water can support a ship, but it can also sink it". We need to let Washington know that we who supported them during conflict after conflict and war after war are still here to support them and to sink them. We who served under the worst conditions and sacrificed our lives and our families to serve this great country deserve better than to be thrown off the fiscal cliff to save the jobs of Washington fat cats and Wall Street millionaires. We need to let them hear our voice! We need to let them know that this is wrong and we won't stand for this sort of treatment any longer!

  61. Well, you all can thank the Honorable Senator from Arizona, Mr. McCain for this one!!

  62. Lindsey Davis | February 26, 2013 at 1:27 pm |

    I am the spouse of a Navy Vet, he now has medicare and Tricare for life. I was using Tricare Prime, but I couldnt go where I wanted or see my doctor. I work fulltime, so have opted to take out the insurance at my job, just to keep seeing my own doctor and get the other options if needed.
    I think it is unjust for the government to do this moreso to the Military Retirees, I feel that the Tricare Prime healthcare has gone down hill since we started using it. I feel for the young people who live locally and cannot get their care locally because we are 4 hrs from a military facility.

  63. harold bryant | February 26, 2013 at 1:27 pm |

    Team Army, we all have to realize that "we get what we vote for". I talk to a lot of young military guys and are amazed of how they feel it is so cool to support the current regime. Most don't think of their golden years until they are almost there and then it's too late. Not implying a mutiny, but all active duty, reserve, retired servicemen need to be getting in contact with their respective congressman on their concerns about the future of our future medical care.

  64. Ed McMains MSG (RET) | February 26, 2013 at 1:28 pm |

    I retired in 1991 and signed up for Tricare Prime. My wife and I enrolled out at Madigan Army Medical Center and have had excellent care and our primary care physician is a fantastic PA by the name of Mr. Behner. When I 1st saw the articles about getting booted off of Prime because of the distance I live from Army Med Center I panicked because with the health issues I have (Hep C – most like contracted from the airguns they gave us shots with back in 1971) I don't want to have to change doctors. The good news here is that the new rules are for those that are seeing a contracted provider and do not affect those of us already getting our care at the MTF. I have seen some of the horror stories about military health care but I have to say that my wife and I have always felt like we were getting absolutely class a care. We intend to convert to Tricare for Life out at Madigan in a couple of years when we hit 65.

  65. For the first time in US history it seems that our government has become a major threat to the very institution it is supposed to honor and protect, the US Constitution. King Obama and his lackeys need to pack up and get out of the US before it is ruined by their lies, scheming and socialist chicanery.

  66. Elden Marcellino | February 26, 2013 at 2:07 pm |

    My name is Elden Marcellino SKC Navy {Ret] Both my self and my wife is over 65. on Medicare and Tricare for Life. Are we going to lose our Tricare for Life benifits after 30Sept?

  67. Bet you didn't thought your sex life would be increased in retirement.
    Consistently screwed by Wahshington… and not even a kiss!!!!!!!!!!!!

  68. The Vets in the US are like ole Joseph in the Bible, the President and Congress just threw us into the well, and getting ready to sell us to Egypt

  69. The Pentagon’s newest numbers say that the new F35 Fighter jets will cost $112.5 million, plus $22 million for the engine, apiece to buy in 2012 dollars (that figure includes the cost of R&D work), according to Reuters. That’s $135 million per plane, plus an additional $26 million for the engines when adjusted for inflation.
    And WASHINGTON IS LOOKING TO CUT OUR BENIFITS

  70. designed to save the taxpayer monies, what an insult you rotten fools, we were told that we had FREE medical and dental for us and our dependents when we retired, nothing about co-pays, premiums or paying rising perscription co-pays.
    all the senate,house and the exec need to be fired and we need real citizens to start over and do things that this great country was founded on the constitution and bill fo rights, not the bill of the leadership gets rich and we get screwed, broken promises daily and getting worse how dare they.

  71. I used their site to compare best I could… They are "automatically" enrolling us in standard, when in fact Extra saves us 5% on cost-share (another slam in the dace term when we were told "free" and lived up to our side of the contract). Network provider? As in takes Tricare? Confusing.

  72. Petethepilot | February 26, 2013 at 4:57 pm |

    Beyond the fact that standard is far more expensive than prime. Beyond the fact that we will get very little support in finding doctors as we get stuck with billing from non certified participating standard doctors. Beyond the fact that going into a hospital will be a nightmare. Folks look at the dates the original DOD press release occurred, a Friday afternoon in January. Sound familiar! They all were quiet on this prior to the election. Sound familiar! Now for the rear irony, 40 miles doesn't mean 40 miles from MTF. It means as I played with zip code finder, in a zip code 40 miles from the MTF. So you could be 45 miles away and continue on prime and a near by neighbor in a different zip code over 40 mile away is forced into standard. What a deal, thank you Mr. President for looking out for the retire military.

  73. Holy Crap… Vets better get busy and VOTE out the fools voting FOR this !! AZ needs to recall McCain.. that sellout is DONE! McCain I hope you Practice what you Preach as well as all the other slimy congressmen on the Take!!

  74. with my wifes health we will have to buy a supplement to help, without that there is no way to handle the cost

  75. May as well get used to cuts. This is obamas dem. agenda

  76. This is the first response I got from writing my Senator. Not exactly an answer, don't see how 171,000 retirees can save the gov't billions of dollars. We stayed in 29 years knowing the gov't promised us (family) free health care. Now they are changing their minds, but our american soldiers were good enough to put their lives on the line without questioning what we were doing it for. We can send billions of money overseas and save everyone else but not our retirees. Sad day for our american retirees that this is what it has come to.

    Dear Monica,

    Thank you for getting in touch with me and letting me know what’s on your mind regarding military health benefits under the TRICARE program.

    In recent years, TRICARE benefits have been improved in a number of ways, such as eliminating co-payments for active duty family members and reducing the catastrophic cap for retirees from $7,500 to $3,000. Over this same period, out-of-pocket costs for TRICARE participants remained stable, even as such costs were increasing for those enrolled in civilian health care plans.

    TRICARE is experiencing rapidly escalating costs, which have more than doubled since 2001. In Fiscal Year 2009, TRICARE spending exceeded $44.8 billion. Without reforms to the program, the Department of Defense (DOD) projects that TRICARE spending will increase to $64 billion by Fiscal Year 2015. DOD has warned that such increases are unsustainable and that benefit adjustments are needed to ensure future U.S. military capability.

    Although Congress needs to needs to find ways to control costs while maintaining quality in TRICARE and other health spending programs, I have concerns about the President’s proposal and will study it carefully.

    I am committed to doing my part to ensure that our government keeps its promise to our nation’s service members, our veterans, and their dependents. I’ll be sure to keep your views and comments in mind as modifications to TRICARE are discussed here in Washington and in Tennessee.

    Sincerely,
    Lamar

  77. Frustrated Spouse | February 27, 2013 at 10:02 am |

    I am a 52 year old spouse of a career retiree. Unfortunately, I have severe health issues and am medically retired from my job. I was forced onto Social Security Disability by my own private disability carrier. Then TRICARE forced me at age 52 into paying for Medicare at $115.40 despite having cadillac primary health coverage through the Post Office group health coverage. TRICARE rules state they will deny coverage even at a MTF if I was Medicare eligible but refused coverage. So now, we pay over $5,000 a year in health care premiums for our family. I have three policies on myself, two of which wont pay and now I end up paying most of my copays and co insurances to my doctors as they are not participating providers and will not bill for secondary and third coverages. I paid $256.00 for my latest treatment and got back $5.29 from Medicare. Anyone that thinks nationalized government run healthcare is a good thing needs their head examined. I tried to refuse the Medicare coverage. My Congressman attempted to mediate for me but was told that if I refused coverage, TRICARE would refuse 100% of all coverage, including my drug coverage and I would be turned away even at a MTF if I showed up in an ambulance. Medicare also stated that I would be penalized and charged an additional percentage for every year that I refused coverage. First, this is a violation of the promises made to my husband, the service member to care for him and his family for life. Secondly, it is a violation of my rights as well. I should be able to decide what health coverage I want to carry. Now I pay much more premium for much less coverage. This is a travesty. The government dishonors our veterans and service members. My husband is proud of his service but would never recommend our children consider entering the military. Its a sad commentary on the state of our government and our society.

  78. All,

    UPDATED: TRICARE Prime Service Area ZIP Code Look-Up Tool
    February 27, 2013

    The tool allowing TRICARE beneficiaries to check if they live in a ZIP code affected by Prime Service Area (PSA) reduction has been updated with the latest information on affected ZIP codes. ZIP code listings are regularly updated, so check back frequently. For all the most up-to-date information on PSA changes, visit http://www.tricare.mil/psa.

    Use the ZIP code look-up tool at: http://www.tricare.mil/psazip.

    Sign up for TRICARE e-mail updates at

    http://www.tricare.mil/subscriptions.

  79. I think Obama with the Medica care program (Med Care for all the Americans)
    will work for our citizens. I do not like to copy programs from another counties, but I was stationed in Germany for many years and I can proof they have a good Med Care program.. yes, it is social…..,, but the American Social Security is also Social.

    Of course the big privat health insurance the want to keep the Chocola cake.

    Don't blame the Democrats, see who is against all the social programs, including for the US military and retirees.

  80. I bet you didn't put your life on th line, splend long periods of time away from your family serving your country, or suffer perm. disabling injuries in combat. If you want to complain about something to save tax payers dollars, complain about the federal ins.that your congressman gets for life after only serving one term or the millions of dollars they walk away with while in ofice. Also, another way would be to limit them to terms like the president, eliminate their retirement and medical benefits. We in the military earned every thing we get.

  81. Well, I certainly hope you eventually face an exponential cost to using your Medicare. That's fair.

  82. OK everybody, lets all say it at once. 1..2..3.. RENEGE! Now, let it all out right here, then go to http://www.google.com and type "CONGRESS and XXX" (XXX meaning YOUR State). Then start writing letters to Congressmen, where your words MIGHT actually be heard.

    Our dopey Congress is choc full of people who don't give a diddly about Vets or the Military. Some of them would happily do FAR more damage than an out of control DoD would, given the opportunity. The more emails/letters etc, the better the chances we MIGHT be able to stop the great American Screwing-of-the-Vets that's sure to be coming down the pike.

  83. Maurice Laubach | March 2, 2013 at 5:50 am |

    I am 82 and it appears like I should just croke and get it over with,

  84. You know there was a time when America's word was her bond. If we said something we ment it, and if we committed to something or someone we were good for it. We respected our elders and appreciated all they did to geg us where we are today, we were a country of great honor and earned the respect of both friend and foe.
    We were told that social security would be there in. Our older years and we needed to invest in savings bonds for our country's future, that we needed to sacrifice for our future generations, we needed to serve our country for our future generations to live a better life tomorrow. We did it all because America was good for her promiceses. I guess that you will now tell the present generation the same thing to sacrifice for our future, HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORD NOW.???

    Are we sacrificing for the Ritchie to get richer like they did off my forefathers backs sweat and blood on a promise of better things to come only to be told 30 years from now that America was no longer faithful to her word and could not be held liable for promises made today? When will the people who make the sacrifices for our future ever get the benefits of our labor and be allowed to reap the benefits of the sacrifices of our forefathers? IT SEEMS THAT FOR THE MEEK AND ELDERLY THAT INDEED TOMORROW NEVER COMES IN THE GOOD OLD USA!!

    We are the toilet paper for the Ritchie to get richer and were never ment to live as we were promised.

    I say this have your day Ritch man because tomorrow does come in the afterlife, and GOD never sleeps.

    IT IS TIME FOR US TO RECEIVE OUR JUST DUE THAT WE WERE PROMISED BY AMERICA! America KEEP YOUR PROMISE YOU MADE TO MY FOREFATHERS RESPECT OUR ELDERLY AND THE BLOOD SHED FOR YOUR PROMISES

  85. Then you should have stayed the 20 plus years and thought ahead. You should have thought ahead.

  86. No, cuts like these do not need to be made. Our debt national debt is about to hit 3T but is it not from programs like this, it is because our politicians, who are suposed to be serving us, serve themselves. They waste Millions, and Billions of dollars on ridicules stuff, the stimules packages that did nothing other than run up our debt, etc, etc and now, they have to cut our benefits. What about theirs, they are all millionaires, Obama just spent $20 million of tax payers money on his vacation, look it up, it is true, so don't tell me we have to cut TRICARE, we need to vote these scumbags out of office. That is what they do, when Obama was doing the stimulus, etc, I knew this was coming; it is about redistribution of wealth; they spend like crazy, then cut our benefits but not theirs. They live the high life.. CSM H.

  87. FREE? Who said Tricare Prime was Free? we pay for it to

  88. First of all, we dont get free anything. We pay premiums and co-pays. The fact is that when you serve for 20 yrs, at a pay rate that is 40% less than the civilian sector then retire at 50% of that pay grade, your benefits are important. Our worthless politicians feel that they can cut budget to allow for social programs and welfare rats to succeed. Not to mention that fact that there is a sacrifice to military service that NOONE can appreciate unless you serve the full 20 yrs. That service should not be marginalized by the political hacks that have never served.

  89. It is called a career choice, you chose to quit the service. Retirees chose to serve their country for 20yrs and should receive what they got when they retired.

  90. Screwed again | March 8, 2013 at 12:51 pm |

    I got the news today that MY Government, is cutting my Tricare bennies again. No surprise as the vast majority of the pukes in office, never served their country. (Public office is not service to country BTW, it is self serving) Obama will walk away a millionaire, as do most of that Axxholes. Never the less, I am kicked off Tricare Prime only to pay 25% out of pocket for something that I literally gave my left leg and right foot for. Fuck you Obama!!!!

  91. All of us retired VETS can thank Senator John McCain who was a major proponent of cutting out Tri-Care Prime for the majority of retirees. Yes our so called POW hero who has put the screws to miltary retirees. McCain has clearly lost it. He should be what he acts like —- a Democrat…..or maybe a traitor of military retirees. The Senator has clearly lost it. He really needs to retire. And one more thing…..Why do military retirees close to military installations get a better deal—preference than those not close to military installations? Sounds like this could be a good class action law suit.

  92. I did my Freakin time. I signed on for free medical for the rest of my life. I paid my freakin premiums. Now my wife is thrown under the bus, I am thrown in front of the train (VA Medical CARE(LESS)) and now have to pull more out of my pension and disability to pay for medical care I GOT WHILE SERVING!!!!

    This sucks so much. Washington et. all. You suck. You screw us, make unilateral changes to a CONTRACT, see business law 101. Now I have to make more changes, cut more money from my budget to pay for overpriced doctors and undervalued service.

    So for me it's back to the VA. Where we are just cattle, being lined up, sent through the chute till we get sick and die from illness or injury, infections caught in a VA facility or just die because we can't get a necessary disgnostic procedure and can't get it fixed till it's too late.

    Hell, at least cattle in a slaughter house get it over quickly, a hammer gun through the brain and off they go. This pisses me off so much.

    I CAN'T AFFORD more out of pocket expenses for my "FREE MEDICAL FOR LIFE"!!!

  93. Complain all you want!!! Nobody is Listening!!!!!!! Old Soldiers never Die Our Gov just ignores them.

  94. I've heard that the VA excepts tricare. How do you go about changing your care to the VA?

  95. Ha, tha's Lamar Alexander, he will say anything that will get him votes. Not a fan. But in today's world, everyone is going to have to give a little. If that means having to pay some copays for care, that is still WAY better than for civilians. As a retired military, you can make sooooo much money, all those I know are pretty well off. Retired pretty young and now have retirement income coming in from the second career after they retired from the military. Sorry, can't feel sorry for career military retirees, you had the opportunity to do very well, if you blew it, that's your fault. UNLESS, you are disabled, that is a different story. I am a nam-vet widow and I get nothing, he got nothing, died before things started happening for nam vets, so stop whining.

  96. I think folks are rather misinformed and feel everything is the former administrations fault. In the last 73 years, our politicians have had one, (1) balanced federal budget. This has been both democrat and republican administrations. Open your eyes and realize that members of both parties have skirted the law, requiring a balanced budget be presented each year by congress and put into action.
    As a retired military member, I can promise you, that we sure do not get rich on the retirement we are given, but we seem to be an easy target to break promises made to us. For those that think the military gets too many perks, especially once you retire, think for a moment. how long this country would survive without a strong military. There would be a lot more 9/11's to deal with. Before condemning this great health care system we also have, keep in mind that a lot of the illnesses and disabilities we have, were caused by our chosen profession. Yes, we chose to serve our country in the military but we made a lot of sacrifices to get what we have today as far as retirement and healthcare.

  97. The supreme court might have ruled in 2003 that recruiters could not make a promise of life time healthcare for retirees, but I came in , in 1968 and retired in 1990. I know what they promised when I came in, so they changed the rules after I was retired.

  98. It's a disgrace. I was put back on Tricare Standard and was told if "I lived in a certain area, next to a base medical center" then I could stay on the plan I was accustomed to. Well guess what Uncle Sam, I thought this was free country. If I choose to move back to my hometown after I have sacrificed my entire youth for this country, I should be able to do so without penalty. Not the case. Can't sue Uncle Sam, but I can sure as hell can pull his beard. I'm not done with this yet.

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