Around 124,000 military retirees and their family members have been dropped from Tricare Select.
The reason they lost coverage is due to a new fee that went into effect beginning January 1st, 2021. Those who didn’t pay the new fee have now lost their coverage.
Beneficiaries do appear to be taking action to reinstate their coverage, however there are still many more who need to. In January more than 54,000 people restored their coverage.
If you are one of the many veterans who lost their coverage and still need to reinstate it, you have time.
The Defense Health Agency is giving you until the end of June to reinstate it.
Anyone who is dropped from Tricare Select will have access to direct medical care only at a military treatment facility, and only if space is available. Claims for medical treatment after Dec. 31 will be denied. The good news is that coverage can be reinstated within 180 days (end of June) if back enrollment fees are paid, and claims will be paid retroactively to Jan. 1. Defense officials extended the reinstatement period from 90 days to 180 days; advocates want that extended to a year and senators have introduced legislation to that effect.
Tricare contractors have been contacting these beneficiaries about their lapsed coverage and newly required payment. Defense Health Agency officials are asking beneficiaries to let their Tricare contractor know if they have chosen not to continue their Tricare Select coverage, and are purposefully declining coverage.Military Times
The new fees that went into effect are $12.50/month for individuals. For families, it is $25/month.
Several Senators are currently trying to extend the grace period for reinstating lost coverage.
They have introduced a proposal that seeks to extend the reinstatement period until the end of 2021. Currently the grace period ends in June.
Regarding the proposed legislation, Sen. Joe Manchin stated, “This extension helps ensure no retired service member is left without health care coverage, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”