In Great Falls, Tester Hosts Roundtable on Improving TRICARE with Veterans and Servicemembers

Tester met with servicemembers, veterans, and providers to discuss addressing systemic challenges with TRICARE

U.S. Senator Jon Tester joined Montana veterans, servicemembers, and health care providers in Great Falls today to discuss addressing systemic challenges with TRICARE for beneficiaries in rural areas and next steps to improve the Department of Defense’s (DoD) health care program. TRICARE delivers health care services for active duty servicemembers, Guard and Reserve members, military retirees, and their family members.

“I’ve heard from far too many Montanans that TRICARE isn’t working for them, and I’m concerned about the alarming number of issues with the program,” said Tester. “Montana servicemembers and veterans have earned access to quality, timely, and affordable health care and prescriptions, and anything less is unacceptable. Federal government bureaucrats in Washington don’t understand the challenges these folks face when it comes to accessing those benefits in rural America, but together we’re going to make them understand and fix this.”

As Chairman of both the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Tester has been ringing the alarm and aggressively pushing back on a series of challenges with the TRICARE network. 

Systemic issues with TRICARE include rising costs, a declining number of participating health care providers, and a loss of community pharmacy access that has impacted approximately 400,000 beneficiaries and thousands of independent pharmacies—including locations in Montana. 

Following a move by TRICARE’s pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts to reduce the number of in-network pharmacies in Montana and across the country last year, Tester demanded DoD take swift action to safeguard access to these earned benefits. He also led a bipartisan effort to push DoD proactively restore TRICARE benefits for 25,000 servicemembers, veterans, and their families who were wrongly removed from the system earlier this month due to technical issues with the U.S. Army’s new human resources platform.


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