Defense Health Care: DoD Surveys Indicate Beneficiary Experience Generally Unchanged in First Year of Tricare Select
United States Government Accountability Office Washington United States
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DOD provided health care to more than 9 million eligible beneficiaries through TRICARE in fiscal year 2018. Most of these beneficiaries were enrolled in TRICAREs managed care planTRICARE Prime. However, about 2 million beneficiaries received care primarily from civilian providers through TRICAREs non-Prime options TRICARE Standard and Extra. Effective January 1, 2018, these two options were eliminated and TRICARE Select was implemented. TRICARE Select has similar benefits for provider choice and obtaining care from civilian providers as TRICARE Standard and Extra, but includes access standards to ensure at least 85 percent of enrollees are covered by TRICAREs network of civilian providers, among other things. The National Defense Authorization Act NDAA for Fiscal Year 2008 included a provision for GAO to review results of DOD surveys of non-Prime beneficiaries and civilian providers. Additionally, the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2017 included a provision for GAO to review access to care after implementation of TRICARE Select in 2018. This report addresses both provisions. GAO analyzed DODs survey results to determine changes after implementation of TRICARE Select in 1 non-Prime beneficiaries ratings of TRICARE, 2 non-Prime beneficiaries reported ability to find providers and obtain appointments, and 3 civilian providers reported acceptance of TRICARE. GAO analyzed the results of the 2017-2019 surveys, and interviewed agency officials and DOD contractors.
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