TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – The 60th Medical Group at David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base is scheduled to host a series of TRICARE benefits briefings before the Thanksgiving holiday to inform TRICARE beneficiaries aged 65 and older of their benefits.
Retired military members and TRICARE beneficiaries 65 and older represent 28% of the medical center’s 65,000 patients, nearly one third of the patient population for the Air Force’s largest medical facility.
“We want people to know their benefits, so they’re aware and can make educated decisions about their healthcare,” said John Dickens Jr., 60th MDG beneficiary counseling and assistance coordinator.
Briefings are scheduled to take place in the DGMC auditorium from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Nov. 19 and Nov. 25. A briefing is also scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. for Nov. 22 in the DGMC auditorium located on the first floor of the hospital across from the cafeteria. The medical group is also planning to stream one of the presentations via their Facebook page.
“Knowing how complicated the healthcare system is, it is important that our beneficiary population understands what their options are,” said Carol Salek, 60th MDG health care integrator.
“Not knowing your healthcare coverage and options can delay the care you need,” she said.
“As a result, TRICARE beneficiaries may end up purchasing additional healthcare coverage in the private sector, which could complicate things further,” added Dickens.
TRICARE for Life, which is Medicare-wraparound coverage and available to TRICARE beneficiaries, regardless of age or where they live if they have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, is managed by the Department of Defense. The program provides comprehensive health care coverage, including the TRICARE Pharmacy Program. Medicare is managed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The two agencies work together to coordinate benefits.
“Retired military beneficiaries and their spouses are required to sign up for Medicare upon turning 65,” Dickens said. “Failure to do so may affect your ability to receive care. With TFL along with Medicare Part B, you have the option to use off-base medical facilities as well.”
If beneficiaries wish to continue their care at a military treatment facility or clinic at which they’re currently receiving care, they can elect to enroll in TRICARE Plus by visiting their benefits counselor, Dickens said.
For more information about the TRICARE briefings or for details about beneficiary benefits, call the DGMC Benefits Office at (707)-423-7921 or (707) 423-3472.