(Continued from page 9)
* Medal for military personnel who served in the
Korean theater after July 27, 1954 and a date to be set in the future.
* Authorization for the Secretary of Defense to pay a flat-rate daily
stipend (in lieu of payments for transportation and miscellaneous expenses)
for military retirees and certain others participating in funeral honors
* Authorization of use of commissaries by National Guard members who are
called to duty in state status in support of federally declared national emergencies.
* A requirement for a review of quality-of-life issues for members of
the Armed Forces every four years.
* Reduction in the number of continuous years of Reserve component service
required immediately before qualifying for a Reserve retirement from eight
* A program of education and other incentives to encourage national
service, entailing at least 15 months on active duty after initial training,
an additional period on active duty or in the Selected Reserve, with remaining
obligated service in the Reserves, Peace Corps, Americorps, or some other
national service program.
* Elimination of prior authorization for TFL beneficiaries needing inpatient
mental health services.
* Allowing family members to retain the TRICARE Prime remote benefit when
not authorized to accompany the member to the next permanent duty station
- only if the family remains at the former duty site.
* Authorization of TRICARE Prime remote benefits to reservists activated for
more than 30 days who reside in TRICARE Prime remote locations.
* Automatic designation of Medicare providers as TRICARE providers, effective
under the new TRICARE contracts in 2004.
* Prohibition of DoD from denying health care benefits to Prime enrollees
who receive service connected care through the VA, if the VA cannot meet
DoD's access standards.
* Requirement for DoD to adopt Medicare claims processing procedures except
for those unique to TRICARE requirements.
* Further direction to facilitate VA/DoD sharing agreements and authorization
for three pilot sites to test collaboration initiatives.
Excerpt from RAO Bulletin Update dated 11/10/02
The September 2002 TRICARE
Handbook, is available for distribution to beneficiaries and providers worldwide.
The new handbook highlights all three TRICARE options Prime, Standard and
Extra and the many health care programs and benefits added since the 1997
red, white and blue edition. New topics and benefits covered include TRICARE
For Life, TRICARE Prime Remote for Active Duty Family Members, TRICARE Plus,
Travel Reimbursement, Chiropractic Care, TRICARE Senior Pharmacy Program,
TRICARE Dental Program, Debt Collection Assistance Officer Program, Beneficiary
Counseling and Assistance Coordinator Program, and more.
The handbook has a fresh new design and color. The
cover is white with a vignette representing uniformed services families,
ranks and memorabilia on the front and helpful telephone numbers and addresses
on the back. Included inside are improved charts and graphs for cost comparisons,
tips and helpful reminders for beneficiaries to consider before seeking care
from authorized civilian providers.
The new handbook is being shipped to TRICARE service
centers and military treatment facilities in every TRICARE region and is
available to sponsors and their family members upon request. The online version
is in PDF format [i.e., Adobe Acrobat Reader software is required to view/print
the handbook. A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat Reader software can be downloaded
from the Adobe web site at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html].
Sponsors and family members with TRICARE questions
or in need of assistance are still encouraged to contact their local beneficiary
counseling and assistance coordinator, health benefits adviser, or TRICARE
service center representative. A list of local and regional toll-free
TRICARE telephone numbers is available in the handbook and on the TRICARE
Web site at http://www.tricare.