The local Odd Fellows Lodge was alerted to a payment problem for retired military personnel using TRICARE. Due to a programming oversight, two groups of beneficiaries were inadvertently omitted from the list of people whose claims should have been sent to TRICARE by Medicare for payment.
This affected approximately 195,000 people. The first group contained the names of some 10,600 widows/widowers of military personnel who died on active duty. The second group contained the names of those who followed instructions and verified their enrollment in DEERS during the months preceding Oct. 1. The 195,000 represents some 13 percent of all beneficiaries.
The error is scheduled to be corrected by Dec. 1. However, those in the two groups mentioned above, or who have doctor appointments in November and December, may receive a Medicare Explanation of Benefits or a bill from their doctor.
These bills will be paid by TRICARE but will require assistance by the beneficiaries. Soon, all 195,000 will receive a letter explaining the problem and providing them with claim forms to send to TRICARE for payment. It is important that the claim forms be filled out completely and exactly according to the instructions on the form and must include supporting documentation. ...
While this is cumbersome, we are convinced that due to the complexity of the TRICARE contractor payment network, this is the only feasible way of correcting the system. Also, it is the same procedure which must be used by the Under-65 retirees until they are included in the automatic payment process sometime next year.
The TRICARE phone number is: 1-888-363-5433. For those in the Fort Gordon area, simply go to Eisenhower Army Medical Center and ask for the TRICARE office.
The TRICARE web site: www.tricare.osd. mil/claims can provide claims forms and instructions.
From all reports the Lodge has received, we have a good system and beneficiaries are well pleased. Lets not bad-mouth a good system because of an unfortunate programming error which affect only 13 percent of the total retiree population.
7th District Deputy Grand Master
Order of Odd Fellows
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