Have Tricare? Check Your Payment Type

For our family’s health insurance, we have Tricare Reserve Select due to Gregg’s service in the National Guard.

To pay for Tricare, you have to set up for automatic payments. Unlike the Tricare Dental Program, for the health program, you must use a credit or debit card. You can’t just give bank information.

At the end of July, the card we used for Tricare expired. The bank sent us a new card. Tricare canceled our policy.

jeb footYes. You heard that right. Know how I know? Jeb stepped on a rusty nail and I had to take him to the doctor. I found out while filling his prescription for antibiotics.

Gregg called Tricare last week – on the 5th of August – the day this all happened. They said they sent us two notifications by mail in June. Know how I know that they didn’t? We were out of town for the entire month of June and part of July, and ALL of the mail we received during our absence is in a plastic box, or already opened and filed where it goes. The only correspondence from Tricare I received was several Statements of Benefits.

So, 5 days after the card expired and less than 30 days since the last payment was processed (which was on the 7th of July), they cancelled our policy. With no warning. And, in order to get it back on, we had to pay over $600 – we had to pay for 3 months.

Here’s what’s infuriating:

  1. They didn’t send a letter. They said they did, but they didn’t.
  2. They process the payment on the 7th, not the 1st. Which means, they had it in their records that the card expired and arbitrarily canceled it before time to process it.
  3. Not every household can handle an extra $600 bill the last month of summer.
  4. There was nothing a supervisor could do (we escalated the call up to a supervisor), because the mandate for this policy came from Washington D.C. and there are to be NO exceptions.

tricareWhy is that? Why are there no exceptions? Why is the military’s insurance company mandated to harm the military its supposed to serve?

Thankfully, we were able to pay it. But, what would have happened if we couldn’t? Right. We’d have been without insurance. In case you’re not keeping up with the times, that’s a fine-able offense these days and the ramifications could just go on and on.

Why am I posting this? A huge population of my readers are military. So, check your form of payment to Tricare. Give yourself a reminder as a credit card is approaching expiration. Because, Tricare won’t give you a reminder. They’ll tell you they did, then they’ll charge you an extortionist amount to reinstate everything.



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