Military News Briefs for the Week of Nov. 10, 2000
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2000 This is a summary of the top American Forces Press Servicenews stories for the week ending Nov. 10, 2000.
PET OWNERS GET HELP WITH QUARANTINE COSTS
Service members and DoD civilians are getting a little help from Uncle Sam when they have to quarantine their pets during permanent-change-of-station moves.
As of Oct. 1, 2000, the government will kick in $275 to help defray the cost of quarantining pets. Congress approved the payment as part of the Fiscal 2001 Defense Authorization Act.
The payment is limited to costs associated with quarantining cats and dogs. Cats and dogs traveling from the United States to Iceland, Great Britain, Guam and Hawaii are routinely quarantined. The quarantine can range from 30 days to six months.
BENEFICIARIES CAN HELP AVOID MEDICAL BILL PROBLEMS
There are several steps TRICARE beneficiaries can take to avoid getting in hot water over unpaid medical bills, military health care officials said.
TRICARE officials have learned several lessons since implementing the Debt Collection Assistance Officer program, July 26. The program is designed to help beneficiaries deal with unpaid medical bills that have been sent to a collection agent or a credit bureau.
The beneficiary should first make sure information on the TRICARE explanation of benefits notification is correct. "It's easy for mistakes to occur when people are coding in numbers and letters," said Marcia Bonifas, TRICARE Management Activity's director of customer service and beneficiary education. "If a social security number or procedure code is one number off, it can result in a claim denial."
MARINES SEEK LEJEUNE RESIDENTS FOR HEALTH SURVEY
If your children were conceived or born at Camp Lejeune anytime between 1968 and 1985, the Marine Corps needs you to participate in an environmental health survey.
Marine officials said they are trying to reach about 10,000 former residents to participate in the survey. They have already contacted 6,500 people.
The Marines are working with the U.S. Public Health Service's Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to determine if low-level exposure to two cleaning compounds -- tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene -- can cause certain health concerns in children.