Prescription Costs for TRICARE Beneficiaries to Increase January 1

The cost of prescription drugs for TRICARE beneficiaries will increase on January 1, 2020.

Effective Jan. 1, 2020, a 90-day supply of generic drugs received through TRICARE’s Express Scripts mail-order pharmacy will increase from $7 to $10. Co-pays on brand-name drugs received through the mail will go from $24 to $29; the price rises from $53 to $60 for non-formulary drugs.

Generic drug prescriptions filled at retail pharmacies will see the cost rise from $11 to $13 for a 30-day supply, while the same supply of brand-name medications will increase from $28 to $33. Non-formulary drugs — those not on Tricare’s list of approved and covered medications — will go up from $53 to $60.

Prescriptions filled on base will continue to be free.

The price increases were mandated by Congress as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 in an effort to bring the amount TRICARE beneficiaries pay into line with the actual costs of prescription drugs. Because the US Family Health Plan is a TRICARE Prime program, the prescription drug price increases mandated by Congress will apply to US Family Health Plan beneficiaries.  Annual increases are planned through 2027.

DHA Announces TRICARE Open Season and Federal Benefits Open Season

The Defense Health Agency announced the two open seasons for military beneficiaries:  TRICARE Open Season and Federal Benefits Open Season.

TRICARE Open Season applies to anyone enrolled in or eligible for TRICARE Prime (including the US Family Health Plan) or TRICARE Select.  Federal Benefits Open Season is for enrollment in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP).  Both the TRICARE and FEDVIP open seasons begin on Nov. 11 and end on Dec. 9. Enrollment choices made during this period will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

If you are now enrolled in US Family Health Plan, you will be automatically re-enrolled in the Plan for the coming year.  This means you don’t need to do anything during Open Season.  However, if you want to change your TRICARE coverage for 2020, you must make this change during Open Season.

To get ready for open season, you can use tools on the TRICARE website, like the TRICARE Plan Finder and TRICARE Compare Cost Tool.  These resources help you see which plans you’re eligible for and help you to compare plans and costs.  On the FEDVIP enrollment website, you can enroll in or make changes to your FEDVIP plan.  The website also provides tools to help you find the right dental and/or vision plans for you and your family.

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Beyond Expectations: An Extra Test Can Save a Life

In a new US Family Health Plan video, retiree member Robin Farris shares her personal story about how an astute observation by her health care team during a routine test saved her life.

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memorial day

A Time to Honor American Military Service and Sacrifice

Every year, the month of May closes with two particularly poignant reminders of American military service and of the sacrifices of those who serve to protect our freedoms.

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US FAMILY HEALTH PLAN TIPS FOR SUMMER SUN SAFETY

Summer is a wonderful time to get together with friends and family outdoors.  It is also a time to remain vigilant about your health and take precautions against skin cancer, one of the most common chronic health conditions in the United States.

The month of May is recognized as Skin Cancer Awareness Month by the Skin Cancer Foundation, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and other health organizations.  The member organizations of the US Family Health Plan Alliance want to use this opportunity to share some helpful information and preventative skin care measures you can take as you enjoy your summer fun.

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US Family Health Plan Celebrates Military Spouse Appreciation Month

May is Military Spouse Appreciation Month, a time to celebrate the contribution and sacrifices made by military spouses, who support our service members. It is our honor and privilege to provide health care to the spouses of active-duty service members, activated members of the National Guard and Reserve, and retirees. Read more

Nursing caring to patient

US Family Health Plan Salutes Nurses During National Nurses Week

Nurses are at the frontline of patient care and as we celebrate National Nurses Week– timed to coincide with Florence Nightingale’s birthday.  The member organizations of TRICARE’s US Family Health Plan program want to recognize and commend everything nurses do, day in and day out, to ensure patients receive the highest level of care possible.

As part of our leadership in promoting the patient-centered medical home concept, US Family Health Plan member organizations were among the first TRICARE providers to offer a 24-hour nurse help hotline, giving members around-the-clock access to nurses and primary care doctors. Through the hotline, US Family Health Plan members have access to general health information, advice on the use of emergency services, guidance about the appropriate level of care for their medical condition, and assistance in scheduling appointments.

The US Family Health Plan Alliance and the six health plans thank all nurses for their service and tireless dedication to patient care. We could not serve our members without them.

Understanding Military Culture at US Family Health Plan at PacMed

The US Family Health Plan Alliance comprises six regional health care providers that offer the TRICARE Prime benefit to over 150,000 military families and retirees across the country. 

In a new US Family Health Plan video, Dr. Rick Ludwig – Medical Director and Chief of Primary Care for US Family Health Plan at Pacific Medical Centers – highlights the US Family Health Plan’s unique relationship with the Department of Defense as the only fully capitated health care model in TRICARE.

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VIDEO: US Family Health Plan Regional Spotlight: Pacific Medical Centers, Northwest Region

The US Family Health Plan Alliance comprises six regional health care providers that offer the TRICARE Prime benefit to over 150,000 military families and retirees across the country.  US Family Health Plan members living in the Puget Sound area of Washington State are served by the US Family Health Plan at Pacific Medical Centers (PacMed™).

Dr. Rick Ludwig started his career with PacMed in 1981 as an internist and now serves as Medical Director and Chief of Primary Care for the US Family Health Plan at PacMed.  He oversees the majority of primary care for the region’s US Family Health Plan members.

In a new US Family Health Plan video, Dr. Ludwig highlights the patient-centered approach PacMed takes to providing health care to military families and retirees.

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Family playing in the grass

Staying Healthy with the Changing Seasons

As Spring begins, US Family Health Plan members looking to sustain their New Year’s health and wellness resolutions should focus on preventative health care. The six member organizations of the US Family Health Plan place a high priority on providing their patients with quality health care and educating them about how preventive care can help them stay healthy all year long.  Examples of preventive care include:

  • Annual Exams: Schedule your annual exams in the beginning of the year, monitor chronic conditions and discuss any recent changes in your health with your doctor.1
  • Eat Nourishing Foods: Eating nutritious foods – including fruits, vegetables and healthy protein – can help prevent illnesses, such as heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis.2
  • Move Every Day: Exercise boosts your mood, gives you energy and improves sleep. Find ways to add in movement throughout your day.3
  • Maintain Your Brain: Keep your mind active with challenging activities like crossword or jigsaw puzzles – they’ve been shown to boost brain productivity and prevent memory loss.4
  • Socialize: Socializing regularly can help reduce stress and anxiety. Try scheduling one social activity a week—perhaps join a book club or sign up for a class at your local recreation center.5
  • Set Goals: Write down your health goals to keep them at the forefront of your mind.6

The US Family Health Plans’ preventive health care initiatives—including disease and complex care management programs and a patient-centered medical home concept that includes in-home patient monitoring—keep members active in lifestyle programs and invested in their health and wellness. For additional tips on preventative measures, contact your primary care provider.

References

  1. Regular Check-Ups are Important | Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
  2. What Are the Benefits of Eating Healthy? | Medial News Today
  3. Exercise: 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity | Mayo Clinic
  4. 12 Ways to Keep Your Brain Young | Harvard Health Publishing
  5. The Health Benefits of Socializing | Psychology Today
  6. An Easier Way to Set and Achieve Health Goals | Harvard Health Publishing