TRICARE + Cost Cuts = Goodbye Service Centers : What You Need to Know

Military Families Special Needs | Special Happens

Cost cuts are forcing drastic actions across the government. The latest to be felt by military families is a big one for EFMP (Exceptional Family Member Program) families. Starting March 31, 2014, all stateside walk-in TRICARE Service Centers (TSCs) will no longer offer walk-in customer service.  Overseas TSCs will remain open due to the unique nature of overseas beneficiaries’’ needs.

What is a TSC?

TRICARE Service Center- There are 189 stateside ran by 3 regional contractors (Humana, UnitedHealthCare and HealthNet).  The contractors will continue to manage customer service by Internet, phone, etc.

What does a TSC do?

  • Administrative matters
  • Enrollment
  • Billing
  • PCM changes
  • Referrals

Why Close the TSCs?

The main reason causing the closings is seemingly the Internet. The ability to cheaply reach beneficiaries versus the high cost of maintaining the TSCs (which have provided customer service since the 1990’s) seems to be the main determining factor.

Most beneficiaries use the Internet or telephone rather than walking in due to convenience.  The dwindling number of walk-ins makes the TSCs no longer cost effective.

How much does the TSCs cost?

The DOD estimates $51 million per year

How much will closing TSCs save?

The DOD estimates $254 million over 5 years

How to manage your TRICARE services without the TSCs:

  • Telephone Contacts for TSCs : www.tricare.mil/ContactUs/CallUs.aspx.
  • TRICARE website:
    • Enroll in or purchase a plan
    • File a check or claim
    • View referrals and prior authorizations
    • Find a doctor
    • Change primary care managers
    • See what services and procedures are covered by their health plans
    • Compare plans
    • Manage prescriptions

There are many options to managing your families TRICARE services after the TSCs close on March 31st.  Research the contacts for your local area and check in with your EFMP office as well to see if any changes will be seen with their program or contacts.

Raven.

Raven Green
Raven is a military spouse and mom of two. She is a freelance writer and advocates for special needs military families. Her oldest is diagnosed with ADHD, SPD, speech & language delays, adjustment disorder and is on the Autism Spectrum. Raven is the author and editor of Ms. MommyHH6, a contributor at Mom-Spot and has been featured on NextGen MilSpouse, Homefront United, Military OneSource and more. She was named to the Top 25 Military Mom Blogs of 2012 by Circle of Moms and 2013 Fort Lee Military Spouse of the Year by Military Spouse Magazine. She resides in Virginia where she is a wife, mom, blogger, writer and advocate. You can reach Raven through Facebook, Twitter or email.
Raven Green
Raven Green

Leave a Reply