Military medical coverage frustrating lately

By Anita Doberman I wish that I had something good to say about my experience with Tricare and military medicine, but today I don’t. While I am fully aware that there are plenty of excellent physicians and medical professionals who do a great job taking care of their patients, I feel disappointed and frustrated with […]

Savings numbers don’t match health care reality

By Tom Philpott Bush administration officials again have saddled Congress with an under-funded military health-care budget by projecting $1.2 billion in savings they know will not be realized, say critics on Capitol Hill. Part of the false savings, for a third straight year, is tied to the unlikely scenario that Congress will enact administration plans […]

Patience with health care difficult

By Anita Doberman Our son Matteo, whom we adopted from Ethiopia about a year and a half ago, has had numerous health problems since arriving in the United States. Matteo had been abandoned by the side of a road, so the orphanage he came from didn’t have any background information, which can be common with […]

Bush seeking higher TRICARE fees

By Tom Philpott President’s Bush final defense budget, for fiscal 2009, asks a reluctant Congress for a third time to raise TRICARE co-payments on drugs dispensed at retail pharmacies and to increase TRICARE enrollment fees and deductibles for working-age military retirees and their families. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the […]

Hurdles remain high for TriCare

By Tom Philpott The Defense Department’s top health official believes that “within the next year or two” TRICARE fees, co-pays and deductibles will “begin to gradually go up” for military retirees. But Dr. S. Ward Casscells, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, also says he “has a lot of sympathy with” the argument of […]

Senators playing politics with prescriptions

ByTom Philpott : Military Update Pressured by the White House and drug industry lobbyists, Congress has killed a Senate-passed provision that would have forced pharmaceutical manufacturers to grant the Department of Defense deep discounts on drugs dispensed through the TRICARE retail pharmacy network. House Republicans were under enormous pressure last month to sideline a provision […]

Board recommends TRICARE be realigned

By Tom Philpott: Military Columnist The Air Force, the only service opposed to creation of a Unified Medical Command, saw its arguments get strafed, rocketed and bombed during a meeting last week of the Defense Business Board, a group of outside management experts that advises Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The board unanimously recommended that Rumsfeld […]

TRICARE trying for those overseas

By Tom Philpott: Freedom Newspapers In decades past, the U.S. military discouraged family members from joining loved ones on “unaccompanied” year-long tours to places like South Korea, Okinawa, Guam and more remote tours in “Cold War” Europe. “Non-command sponsored” dependents who traveled to these assignments often were seen as a distraction and strain on support […]

TRICARE plan to have less paperwork

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Every month, about 400,000 users of the military’s retail pharmacy network — those who have other health insurance — have to file paper claims with TRICARE to be reimbursed for co-payments and other costs incurred that their primary insurance won’t cover. The paper hassle is about to end, said Navy […]

Officials want to raise TRICARE co-payments and fees

By Tom Philpott : PNT columnist Defense Department officials say it’s time users of military health care pay a greater share of rising medical costs, perhaps through higher co-payments and enrollment fees that haven’t been raised since TRICARE, the military’s managed care program, began a decade ago. In an interview, Dr. William Winkenwerder, Jr., assistant […]