VETERAN’S NEWS From the Internet
Gathered by Bob Kinsler, SSG (ret), US Army, VFW Dept. of Oklahoma, Public Affairs Team Member
On Feb. 1, 2018, copayments for prescription drugs at TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery and retail pharmacies will increase. These changes are required by law and affect TRICARE beneficiaries who are not active duty service members.
While retail pharmacy and home delivery copayments will increase, prescriptions filled at military pharmacies remain available at no cost. You can save the most money by filling your prescriptions at military pharmacies.
“Military pharmacies and TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery will remain the lowest cost pharmacy option for TRICARE beneficiaries,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ann McManis, Pharmacy Operations Division at the Defense Health Agency.
Using home delivery, the copayments for a 90-day supply of generic formulary drugs will increase from $0 to $7. For brand-name formulary drugs, copayments will increase from $20 to $24, and copayments for non-formulary drugs without a medical necessity will increase from $49 to $53.
At a retail network pharmacy, copayments for a 30-day supply of generic formulary drugs will increase from $10 to $11 and from $24 to $28 for brand-name formulary drugs.
In some cases, survivors of active duty service members may be eligible for lower cost-sharing amounts.
TRICARE groups pharmacy drugs into three categories: generic formulary, brand-name formulary and non-formulary. You pay the least for generic formulary drugs and the most for non-formulary drugs, regardless of whether you get them from home delivery or a retail pharmacy.
To see the new TRICARE pharmacy copayments, visit www.tricare.mil/pharmacycosts. To learn more about the TRICARE Pharmacy Program, or move your prescriptions to home delivery, visit www.tricare.mil/pharmacy.
From my friend Curtis Coy, the Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity, Veterans Benefits Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC 20420
Dear Fellow Veterans and Colleagues,
VA would like to take moment and highlight a unique program being offered to the Veteran community by Facebook. Facebook recently announced the launch of Facebook Cybersecurity University for Veterans. If you are a Veteran with a CS background or a student Veteran studying CS and interested in learning more about Cybersecurity, then this a great opportunity to learn more about this important and emerging field. Through the course, students will gain hands-on, real-world cybersecurity skills. The program is hosted onsite at Facebook HQ in Menlo Park, CA and starts on February 3rd, 2018. It is hosted every Saturday for 12 weeks. If you are interested in learning more, check out the course information here.
There is no cost to enroll in the program and spots are limited, so apply soon! The application window closes January 18, 2018.
From the VA News releases: Veterans and their family members will have more options for how their compensation appeals will be processed. On Nov. 1, VA launched the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program, or RAMP, with the goal of providing eligible Veterans with the earliest possible resolution of their disagreement with VA.
The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017, or Appeals Modernization Act not only provides VA with the framework to modernize the current appeals process, it also authorized VA to create RAMP.
VA’s complex legacy process was adopted after World War I. The act allows VA to clear one of the largest hurdles in our continuous efforts to improve the delivery of benefits and services to Veterans and their families.
RAMP is voluntary and will first be offered to claimants with some of the oldest pending appeals in VA’s inventory. RAMP participants will have the chance to enter the new, more efficient appeals process, outlined in the historic appeals legislation recently signed into law by the president. Over the next several months, VA will send out notices to Veterans eligible to participate in RAMP.
If you receive notice and would like to participate in RAMP, here are a few things to consider:
- If you DO NOT want to participate in RAMP, you can do nothing, and VA will continue to process your appeal in the current (legacy) process.
- If you decide to participate in RAMP, simply complete and return the election form found in the notice. Please note, you WILL NOT have the option to go back to the legacy appeals process.
- You can expect faster resolution than if you remain in the legacy appeals process.
- You must choose ONE of the two, new processing “lanes” – Higher-Level Review or Supplemental Claim Lane – if you decide to participate in RAMP.
What you need to know about the types of reviews offered in RAMP:
- Higher-Level Review
- A reviewer will conduct a de novo, or “new,” review of the previous decision based on the evidence of record.
- Reviewers can overturn previous decisions.
- You may not submit new evidence.
- An informal conference is available. However, requesting an informal conference may cause some delay in the processing of a higher-level review.
- Supplemental Claim Lane
- You may submit new evidence to support your claim.
- VA will help you develop evidence in support of your claim.
RAMP will run through the implementation of the Appeals Modernization Act.
To learn more about the new appeals process, visit https://www.benefits.va.gov/benefits/appeals.asp