Fort McCoy News May 10, 2013

TRICARE: An overview of recent changes

Free tobacco-cessation drugs now are available through the TRICARE medical program to eligible servicemembers, retirees and Family members who use the Pharmacy Home Delivery program. TRICARE participants also are advised to closely monitor changes and proposed changes to their benefits.

Megan Robokoff-Kumpf, Fort McCoy Health Benefits adviser, said a number of prescription tobacco-cessation drugs for non-Medicare-eligible beneficiaries are available with no co-pays through the TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery service.
These products include medications and nicotine-replacement therapies.

Prescriptions covered include Varenicline tablets (brand name Chantix); Bupropion SR tablets (brand name Zyban and generics); nicotine nasal spray (brand name Nicotrel NS); nicotine inhalation system (brand name Nicotrel); nicotine transdermal (brand names Nicoderm CQ, and Habitrol); nicotine gum (brand names Nicorette, Nicorelief, and generics); and nicotine lozenges (brand name Nicorette). Generic prescriptions will be used with this program unless there is a proven medical necessity to provide brand-name drugs, Robokoff-Kumpf said.

For more information, contact the pharmaceutical contractor, Express Scripts, at 877-363-1303 or visit the website at

All patients must provide a doctor's prescription to receive these drugs, Robokoff-Kumpf said. After a prescription is ordered and authorized, it usually takes about three to five business days for mail delivery.

The Home Delivery pharmacy is a good deal for TRICARE recipients and saves them money versus purchasing prescriptions through a local pharmacy, she said. Co-pays to use regular pharmacy service increased in February.

Another recent change is that TRICARE West Region services now are provided through United Healthcare Military and Veterans.
Robokoff-Kumpf said benefits and services did not change although some personnel may have discovered their health care providers and networks may have changed. This affects servicemembers and/or Family members who live in the West Region, including those people who commute to Fort McCoy from a residence in Minnesota, for example.

TRICARE recipients in the Fort McCoy region of service who were grandfathered in and receive medical care under the TRICARE Prime health care program will be transferred to the TRICARE Standard program, effective Oct. 1. For more information, visit the website

General TRICARE information is available at the websites or

TRICARE recipients also can sign up at these websites to receive e-mail alerts to keep informed of the latest information about TRICARE benefits.

Robokoff-Kumpf said TRICARE-eligible personnel also receive an updated TRICARE newsletter about current benefit information on an approximately quarterly basis via the postal service.

The next newsletter is scheduled to be published in late May and delivered by early June.

Robokoff-Kumpf reminded TRICARE recipients that the fiscal year 2014 budget recommendations are only recommendations, and elected officials must vote on and pass the recommendations to make them final policy.

Some of the recommended/proposed changes include: a higher enrollment fee for retirees and their Families enrolled in TRICARE Prime, adding enrollment fees for working-age retirees younger than age 65 enrolled in TRICARE Standard, and adding enrollment fees for retirees using TRICARE for Life.

In addition to adding new enrollment fees, it has been recommended that enrollment fees be eliminated from the catastrophic cap (for retirees) — the maximum out-of-pocket expense.

Another recommendation was to continue to increase pharmacy co-pays when using non-military treatment facilities (or civilian) pharmacies by all non-active-duty servicemembers, including active-duty Family members, retirees, retiree Family members, former spouses and surviving spouses.

Robokoff-Kumpf said she can provide TRICARE guidance to eligible personnel in the Fort McCoy community.

For more information, e-mail her at or leave a voice mail at 608-388-2246.