TRICARE Will Stop Covering Some Compound Medications

Recently, TMA (TRICARE Management Activity) sent a letter to 44,000 beneficiaries announcing important information about compound medication coverage. Pharmacy compounding is a practice in which a licensed pharmacist combines ingredients at the pharmacy to alter a prescription to an individual's specific needs. The pharmacist may combine a conventional medication with other ingredients or eliminate an allergen.

The TRICARE pharmacy benefit covers medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some compound prescriptions use ingredients that are not FDA-approved. If a beneficiary's compound medication contains such ingredients, they should have received a letter from Express Scripts Inc. indicating that the prescription will no longer be covered as of July 24, 2013. Beneficiaries that have been notified that they (or a family member) are taking a compound medication that is no longer covered by TRICARE, should talk with their doctor to see if there is an appropriate alternative that is covered.

DFAS Changes MyPay Password Requirements, Reduces Office Hours

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) is transitioning to a new password security system for its MyPay online pay program. Those using MyPay should go to the links listed below to learn more about the password changes. The new system requires a 15- to 30-character password with the use of special characters. Plus, DFAS changes passwords every 60 days. DFAS has also announced that budget cuts and sequestration is resulting in reduced staffing at many DFAS Customer Care offices, along with possible changes in their hours of operation.

To view the implementation schedule, which is based on the last two digits of the member's Social Security number, visit

To learn more about the new password requirements, visit

A schedule of new operating hours for DFAS Customer Care offices is available at

Information On Non VA Emergency Care When VA Facilities Are Not Available

Read all about non VA Emergency Care here:

VA Letter to TFL Beneficiaries Explained

More than 12,000 TRICARE-for-Life (TFL) beneficiaries who are also in Priority Group 8 at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently received a letter explaining a change in the out-of-pocket expenses incurred at VA medical facilities. In the past, when these veterans used VA facilities for care not related to a service-connected disability, they've paid very little out of pocket if they used their TRICARE benefit.

By law, TFL pays only after Medicare and any other health insurance benefit has been paid. Although the VA is TRICARE-authorized, it is not Medicare-certified, and therefore cannot receive payments from Medicare. Current reimbursement to the VA have been more than DoD was authorized to make and, effective October 1, 2013, TRICARE will pay the required 20 percent of TFL allowable charges. TFL beneficiaries seeking non-service-related care at the VA will have to pay the remaining balance.

Related to this issue, Rep. Michael Michaud (Maine) introduced the "Medicare VA Reimbursement Act" (H.R. 2953) to address this situation. The measure seeks to authorize Medicare reimbursement for eligible veterans to improve access for Medicare-eligible veterans and enhance health care funding for the VA. Most veterans pay into Medicare for most of their lives, yet the law prohibits them from using this earned benefit at VA facilities.

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