Tester, Moran Call on Defense Department to Swiftly Restore TRICARE Benefits to 25,000 Beneficiaries, Address Systemic Issues
Senators: “We urge the Department to conduct immediate, targeted outreach to affected individuals to provide them with the information they need to re-enroll and submit reimbursement claims for any care or prescriptions they received while disenrolled from TRICARE.”
U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) are calling on the Department of Defense (DoD) to 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. The Senators’ bipartisan push follows a series of challenges with the network in recent months.
“It is unacceptable that the Army’s newly deployed Integrated Personnel and Pay System-Army (IPPS-A) is causing such drastic issues for soldiers and their families less than a week after the platform was integrated with the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS),” the Senators wrote to DoD Secretary Lloyd Austin. “…The Department must take immediate action to ensure affected beneficiaries are re-enrolled and that IPPS-A works seamlessly with DEERS moving forward. We urge the Department to conduct immediate, targeted outreach to affected individuals to provide them with the information they need to re-enroll and submit reimbursement claims for any care or prescriptions they received while disenrolled from TRICARE.”
Senators Tester and Moran further highlighted systemic issues with TRICARE impacting approximately 400,000 beneficiaries and thousands of independent pharmacies—particularly those in rural areas—and urged DoD to immediately address their concerns. This is a direct result of the pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts’ recent move to expire its pharmacy contracts two months ahead of schedule, driving approximately 15,000 community pharmacies out of the TRICARE network, and Kroger pharmacies’ decision to leave the TRICARE network due to unfair reimbursement rates.
The Senators continued, “We ask that the Department immediately begin a comprehensive analysis of TRICARE to determine what steps need to be taken to restore this program to the best-in-class health care benefit our servicemembers and their families deserve.”
Read the Senators’ full letter HERE.