The Odd Fellows Lodge has received word that some military dependents are being denied care due to expired identification cards. These ID cards must be renewed every four years for the dependants to receive benefits and for TFL to pay claims.
Many older widows have let their ID cards expire because they thought they had no use for them, and their addresses are not in the DEERS records. These are primarily widows who do not live near a military treatment facility such as Fort Gordon. However, every widow and dependent needs to remember to renew their cards and update their DEERS records when they move or have any change in their status.
Additionally, the TRICARE fiscal year catastrophic cap has been reduced from $7,500 to $3,000 for uniformed services retirees, their family members and survivors. The cap is the maximum amount of out-of-pocket costs these beneficiaries are required to pay for medical care during the fiscal year (Oct. 1 through Sept. 30).
This catastrophic cap reduction is retroactive to Oct. 1, 2000. Retirees, their family members and survivors who have paid more than $3,000 out-of-pocket for TRICARE-covered services are eligible for reimbursement. The managed care support contractors (MCSCs) will search their files and identify those who are due refunds. However, that reimbursement will be delayed until at least until at least May 2002. The MCSCs claim the workload is too heavy to do sooner.
Finally, as of Jan 29, some 5 million TFL claims have been received and some $107 million has been paid out since Oct. 1, 2001. Only some 175,000 claims have been denied because eligibility has expired due to lapsed ID cards. It is highly recommended that dates of ID cards be checked; if expired, go to Darling Hall at Fort Gordon to get an updated ID card and to check DEERS records.
Richard E. Hogue
District 7 Deputy Grand Master
Independent Order of Odd Fellows Grovetown
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