/ Published October 18, 2017
Starting Jan. 1, 2018, cost changes for TRICARE benefits transition from a fiscal year period to a calendar year period. Changing from fiscal year (Oct. 1 – Sept. 30) to calendar year (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31) makes the TRICARE benefit consistent with civilian health plans. The change will largely affect those plans which have an enrollment fee and are currently billed by the fiscal year.
With the Jan. 1, 2018 changes to new stateside regions and contractors, you may need to update your payment option to guarantee continued payment of your TRICARE enrollment fees and monthly premiums.
There are currently three TRICARE regions in the United States. In the new year, TRICARE North and TRICARE South will combine to form TRICARE East. TRICARE West will largely remain the same. Humana Military will manage the East region contract. Health Net Federal Services, LLC will manage the West contract.
TRICARE Is Changing. Here Is What You Need To Know:
You will no longer be able to make payments via paper check. Acceptable methods of payment will continue to be allotment, electronic funds transfer, and debit or credit card. If you sign in to your regional contractor’s website to make payments online, this option will also still exist.
If You Pay By Allotment Directly from Your Paycheck
If you currently pay your enrollment fees or premiums by allotment through a Defense Financing and Accounting Service (DFAS) or other Uniformed Services Pay Center, you will not need to update your payment information. Your payments will automatically transfer to the new regional contractor on Jan. 1, 2018. Unless you cancel your allotment, TRICARE will continue to deduct your enrollment fees and premiums.
If You Pay Through Electronic Funds Transfer or via Debit or Credit Card
If you live in an area where a new regional contractor will be delivering services, you’ll need to update your payment information to go to your new regional contractor. This applies if you currently pay enrollment fees or premiums by electronic funds transfer from your checking or savings account or via a debit or credit card. Your new regional contractor will contact you with instructions on how to update your payment information.
You must proactively update your payment information to make sure payments start going to your new regional contactor and stop going to your previous regional contractor. This action will help you avoid disenrollment from TRICARE.
This is Your Benefit! Are You Ready?
Are you ready for the upcoming TRICARE changes? The best way to prepare is to update your information in DEERS, sign up for TRICARE benefit updates and visit the TRICARE Changes page.