TRICARE portability reduces moving stress|
by Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service
9/2/2011 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- With a single phone call, TRICARE's "Moving Made Easy" option will take some of the stress out of moving, a top TRICARE official said Aug. 26.
Using this option, service member and family beneficiaries under TRICARE Prime can ensure that when they arrive at a new duty station, their medical records and prescriptions were transferred and new doctors were lined up for them in advance, said Navy Rear Adm. (Dr.) Christine Hunter, the TRICARE Management Activity deputy director.
And beneficiaries don't have to worry about a gap in their coverage, Hunter said.
Service members and their families can make the transfer call prior to moving, during the move or after they've arrived, she said.
Telephone numbers to transfer TRICARE information and find new health care providers are listed by region and overseas locations at www.tricare.mil.
"This was an initiative of (Defense Secretary Robert M.) Gates who, like (first lady Michelle) Obama and our leadership chain, were very worried about the stresses of moving on our military families," Hunter said. "They have a lot to do and a short time frame in which to do it."
Based on moves made this summer by active-duty service members and their families, TRICARE has racked up 6,000 calls per week to transfer enrollments, Hunter said. Limited to active duty service members and their families for now, the program's popularity could allow for expansion.
Feedback from users of the program say it's much more efficient than the former, more complicated system, Hunter said.
"It takes more people on the phones to do it this way, but our contractors feel it's more efficient because there are no missed signals," she said. "Families leave with a completed enrollment, they know where they're going and they're happy.
"All of these things make the interaction more personal and more satisfying for the troops," Hunter said.