The changes are spurred by the Defense Health Agency publishing a formal document to establish the “rules of the road” to put in place changes made by Congress.
Defense Health Agency Director and Vice Admiral Raquel Bono said that they are “working hard to use the opportunity Congress gave [them] to continue building a health plan that does even better for our beneficiaries, the warfighter and the taxpayers who support us.”
So what exactly are the changes to TRICARE going to be?
Region Consolation: Beginning on January 1st, 2018, the three TRICARE regions of North, South and West will become 2: TRICARE East and West. The change allows for better coordination between military hospitals and clinics and their local civilian counterparts.
TRICARE Select Replaces Standard and Extra: TRICARE Select will self-managed and provide access to both network and non-network authorized providers. Select will also include preventative care services that would have previously only been available in other plans.
Open Enrollment Season: Beginning next fall, enrollment moves to an open enrollment season, like federal employee plans. It’ll begin the Monday of the second full week in November and goes until the Monday of the second full week in December. This change will take place from 2018 on.
For more information on the TRICARE changes, visit this briefing.