Following President Clinton's declaration that all federal
agencies will swiftly respond to the flooding in the Midwest, the
Department of Defense announced today that it has adopted
streamlined emergency measures to ease access to health care
services for military Service members and their families in the
Grand Forks, N.D. area effected by the flooding.
The temporary measures are retroactive from April 10, 1997,
and will continue through May 10, 1997. These changes include:
Waiving the need for pre-approval for certain health care.
Waiving point-of-service cost-shares and deductibles for enrollees in
TRICARE Prime who seek medical care from sources outside the TRICARE Prime network
without their primary care manager's referral.
Dr. Edward D. Martin, acting assistant secretary of Defense
for Health Affairs, stated, Those military families who have
suffered from the disastrous flooding need special consideration.
Working with our managed care support contractor, TriWest, we
have eased their ability to gain needed health care through
TRICARE. That's our top priority concern.
The commander of the military hospital at Grand Forks Air
Force Base, N.D.N.D., will work closely with and TriWest
Healthcare Alliance (the TRICARE contractor for North Dakota), to
will make it easier for the approximately 5,000 military service
members and 10,000 military family members in those areas to get
needed health care for the duration of the emergency.
David J. McIntyre Jr., president and CEO of TriWest
Healthcare Alliance, added, We at TriWest share the government's
and public's concern about the effect of the floods on the lives
of the people in Grand Forks and the surrounding areas. Together
with the government, we are doing everything possible to ensure
that disruption to health care coverage is kept to an absolute
minimum and that the beneficiaries of this program retain the
financial protection they deserve during such a difficult time.
TRICARE is DoD's managed health care program offering
eligible beneficiaries a choice of three delivery options:
Prime, a health maintenance option, Extra, a preferred provider
option, and Standard, a fee-for-service option. As a military-
wide program, TRICARE has regional private-sector health care
contractors working in support of military medical facilities.
These families may call TriWest, at 1-800-874-9378, with
questions about their health care benefits.