Most of these 171,400 beneficiaries will need to shift health coverage from Prime to TRICARE Standard, the military’s fee-for-service health insurance option. For beneficiaries who use more than preventive health care during the year, the shift will mean higher out-of-pocket costs.
Defense officials expect the move to save the health care system up to $55 million a year.
The rollback in number of Prime service areas will not impact active duty members or their families living far a military base for tours as recruiters or in other remote assignments. Their health insurance through the separate TRICARE Prime Remote program will not change.
But grown children of members or of retirees who elected coverage under TRICARE Young Adult insurance will, like retirees, lose access to managed care providers under Prime if they reside more than 40 miles from a base.
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