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Release No: 717-04
July 28, 2004

Tricare South Region to begin Transition August 1

The Department of Defense (DoD) today announced the continuation of its transformation to new military healthcare contractors and changes in regional areas of responsibility.

On Aug. 1, 2004, Tricare-eligible beneficiaries in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee transition to the Tricare South Region. These locations formerly comprised the Southeast and Gulf South Regions (Regions 3 and 4). This is the third major transition to new regions and new contracts announced by the department, including the initial transition of parts of the West Region on June 1 and parts of the North Region on July 1.

According to Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, Through these new and competitively awarded contracts we offer our beneficiaries a suite of services that provide the highest quality of care and a high level of customer service. These qualities of Tricare also make it a world-class, value-added benefit of military service.

Tricare benefits, costs and the enrollment process remain the same under the new regional contracts. Beneficiaries in the South Region who are not currently enrolled in Tricare Prime, but who are eligible and residing in a Prime area, will have the opportunity to enroll. Humana Military Healthcare Services Inc. will provide beneficiaries information on enrollment, network providers, procedures for filing claims, and contacts for assistance in the South Region.

Beneficiaries in Arkansas, the remaining part of Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, except for the far Western part of the state, will complete the Tricare South Region when they transition on Nov. 1, 2004.

Military treatment facilities (MTFs) in all regions remain at the core of the military health system and will now schedule appointments for their beneficiaries. MTF locations are on the Tricare Web site at http://www.Tricare.osd.mil/mtf/.

The new Tricare contracts build on the best aspects of a system developed over the last 10 years, making a strong program even better and by providing incentives for improvements in quality care, access and claims payments. DoD also has awarded additional specific contracts for mail order pharmacy, retail pharmacy, retiree dental care, the Uniformed Services Family Health Plan, Tricare Global Remote Overseas, Tricare healthcare for Puerto Rico, marketing and education programs, information services, and national-quality monitoring, and claims processing for Medicare-eligible beneficiaries.

Humana Military Healthcare Services Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Humana Inc., has worked with the DoD as a Tricare regional managed care support contractor since 1996. Under the next generation of Tricare contracts, Humana will provide healthcare services and support to the approximately 2.86 million beneficiaries in the new Tricare South Region. Beneficiaries in the South Region may access healthcare information by calling Humana at (800) 444-5445 or online at http://www.humana-military.com/.

For more information on the contracts and the transition schedule, visit the Tricare Web site at http://www.tricare.osd.mil/contractsimplementation/default.cfm. Beneficiaries may access information on the Tricare benefit on the Tricare Web site at http://www.tricare.osd.mil/. For more information, beneficiaries may visit Tricare online, http://www.tricareonline.com/, or consult their service and/or local MTF.

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