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Pentagon to Implement Changes to Tricare System in 2018 Under Interim Final Rule

The Defense Department has introduced the interim final rule that will implement changes to the Tricare military health care program on Jan. 1, DoD News reported Thursday.

Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director of the Defense Health Agency, said DHA will transition the Tricare program’s administration to calendar year from fiscal year and implement the Tricare Select health plan under the new rule.

Tricare Select is a preferred provider, self-managed health plan that seeks to replace Tricare Standard and Extra plans by January.

“The rule also sets up an automatic enrollment process, so on January 1 beneficiaries in Prime will automatically be enrolled in Prime or automatically be enrolled in Select if they are enrolled in Standard or Extra,” Bono said.

“We will also be broadening access for beneficiaries by setting out the requirements that at least 85 percent of our beneficiaries have access to network providers in TRICARE Select,” she added.

Bono noted that DHA will also set up an open season enrollment period each year to provide Tricare beneficiaries an opportunity to select their health plans on an annual basis.

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