Reprinted from: Exotic Research Report (Volume 1, Issue 1;
Another Broken Promise...
In the past, it was an implied promise to the service men of our
country that they would receive FREE medical treatment for active
duty personnel, dependents, and retired veterans. The DoD even
acknowledges that this impression was promoted heavily during the
Cold War. This was a good reason to give up your civilian life,
join the military, and, in service to your country, get placed in
Soldiers trust their Government. Yet, as recently as the Gulf War,
the Government gave our soldiers experimental drugs. Now they deny
it and the side effects. Between this and the new TRICARE health
system, the trust is wearing thin.
Another broken promise... this is a outrage to our service members,
retired veterans, dependents... all of whom sacrifice their
lifestyles to serve their country. But if they can do this to the
military members, they can do it to other programs — like Social
The Big Secret?...
Being a military dependent for nine years, I went to Evans Army
Hospital at Ft. Carson, Colorado, to obtain some information on
this new TRICARE program. I went into the Patient Affairs office,
gathered some materials, engaged in conversation with an official,
and mentioned that I was writing an article.
He then informed me that I could not take the pamphlets. I asked
if the material was free to the public. He stated that it was, but
that I had to obtain permission from patient affairs first. I then
asked, “Why? I am an army dependent.” He was unrelenting and would
not allow me this information.
I left wondering what were they hiding? Are they trying to downplay
this new medical plan because it’s not so wonderful after
On the way out the door, I snagged a few pamphlets from another
office. I read the pamphlets I did get my hands on only to find
mass confusion, no real facts , and phrases like Enhanced
Benefits, and Keep you and your family healthy. The
pamphlets were full of cliches and contradictions. In short, for
the most part they are just plain unintelligible.
At any rate here is one of the better pamphlets in its
- TRICARE is a regional managed care program. It will go
into effect nationwide over the next several years. TRICARE
is scheduled to begin in Region 8, which includes Colorado,
in November 1996 and is scheduled for all regions by
- TRICARE is to offer better access to care, better quality
of care and cut costs to the beneficiary and to the
- For CHAMPUS eligible individuals TRICARE offers
three choices: -
- TRICARE PRIME: A voluntary enrollment option.
Families will enroll for a one year period, and will
receive their health care from the Prime network of
civilian and military providers. Retirees and their family
members pay an annual enrollment fee of $230 for an
individual or $460 for a family. There will be no
enrollment fee for active duty and their family members.
Patients treated in military hospitals will continue to
receive care in those facilities without having to share
in the cost of the services provided. There will be
charges if the patient is seen by a network provider in a
civilian setting. The charges will be considerably less
than is currently paid under basic CHAMPUS.
- TRICARE EXTRA: In this option, you do not have
to enroll or pay an annual fee. On a visit-by-visit basis,
you may seek care from a provider who is part of the
TRICARE Extra Network, and get a discount on services, and
reduced cost-shares. Also, you will not have to file any
claim forms when using network providers. You will be able
to get a list of the TRICARE Extra providers by contacting
the “health care finders” located in the TRICARE service
center, when it is established in 1996, in your
- TRICARE STANDARD: This option is the same as
the regular CHAMPUS program. It pays a share of the cost
of covered health care services that you obtain from a non-
network civilian health care provider. There is no
enrollment in TRICARE standard. You will pay the normal
CHAMPUS deductibles for outpatient care, and your cost-
sharing percentages will be the same as for regular
CHAMPUS. You will have to file claims if your provider
declines to do so.
- Medicare eligible persons 65 or older may seek care in
the Military Treatment Facility (MTF) on a space available
basis. They are not eligible at this time to enroll in
TRICARE Prime. Medicare eligible beneficiaries over 65 may
use the ‘health care finders” to obtain an appointment with a
network provider who agrees to participate in Medicare, or
they may use standard Medicare.
- Enrollment into the Military Treatment Facility’s TRICARE
Prime option will be offered to active duty and active duty
family members before being offered to other beneficiaries.
Since space availability in the MTF will be extremely limited
for non-enrollees, retirees should consider purchasing
CHAMPUS supplemental insurance, Medicare Part B, and Medicare
Mass Confusion... Everywhere
After reading all of the material, I found it somewhat confusing.
I decided to try for the rest of the information. This time the
administration office informed me that indeed this information was
public and gave me all the materials I had selected previously. The
other pamphlets had exactly the same information, but they had
restructured the paragraphs.
What I have found is a good case of evading the facts —
Governmental sidestepping. They have charts on rates, copayments,
etc. The material is written in a manner that is certain to
confuse. In fact, one of the pamphlets intended for those seeking
care contains a chart showing how to become a health care provider.
What is even worse, this program is being written as it goes along
and information is limited to a small handful of pamphlets. We have
to wait until Summer 1996 for more information, and a list of
At this time, the hardest hit are the elderly retirees. If you are
65 or older, you can only get space-available care. You are not
eligible for Tricare, and you must go to other health providers if
you can find the information, and read the extremely fine print. In
other words, the older retirees are being forced in programs at the
State level and releasing the Federal Government from its
If you’re Active Duty, of any age, you are not out the woods yet.
The charts are structured to allow rates in the future. Right now
they are free. In the future, expect to pay!
It appears that Hillary's National Health Care Program, which was
soundly rejected by the nation, has been resuscitated and foisted
upon a captive audience. Is this really what we want to do to the
people who have served their country well._Mechelle