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Military Retirees Face Deadline for Health Care Option

MedicalMany military retirees live in the greater Crofton area, so I think it’s important to make sure they’re aware of imminent changes to healthcare options.  If you know any military retirees, please share this information with them as soon as possible, while they can still make an informed decision about their medical future.

The Johns Hopkins US Family Health Plan is currently a TRICARE Prime option for military beneficiaries of all ages. Recent changes to the Department of Defense budget has resulted in legislation to change this, however. The effective date is August 20, 2012.

“Anyone whose application for enrollment in US Family Health Plan is received after August 20 of this year will be required to exit the plan when they turn 65,” according to the USFHP Johns Hopkins website.

“This means beneficiaries would not have the choice of US Family Health Plan when they turn 65. Current members and those who apply for enrollment prior to August 20, 2012 will be grandfathered and allowed to remain regardless of age. However, beneficiaries who enroll after the new rules take affect will be forced to leave the plan when they turn 65.”

You can view a 7–minute video on the Johns Hopkins/USFHP website for more information. 

My husband is one of several Crofton residents who have the privilege of presenting healthcare options to military personnel and retirees at various installations throughout the region, so I guess you could say I have the “inside scoop” on this topic.  This is what Larry tells me:

1.  If you are over 65 now, you can still enroll in USFHP before August 20, 2012.

2.  If you are currently under 65, you can enroll now and when you turn 65 you would be able to stay in the plan since you enrolled before the policy change.

3.  If you are currently a USFHP member, you do not need to change or do anything because you will be grandfathered in and allowed to remain a member for life!

If you know anyone who is retired military, the eligible surviving spouse of a military retiree, or the spouse of a current active duty member, please encourage them to visit the Johns Hopkins/USFHP website for more information.  If they have trouble getting through on the phone, and have questions, call me for contact information of three Crofton residents who can help them.  (They don’t work on commission, they just provide information.)

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