Tricare changes policy

Air Force News

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Tricare has implemented coverage for anesthesia services and associated costs for dental treatment for beneficiaries with developmental, mental or physical disabilities, and for children age 5 or under. The coverage began July 1.
Additionally, Tricare encourages beneficiaries who received these services between Oct. 17, 2006 and July 1 to contact their Tricare regional contractor for help with reimbursement.
“Tricare will do all that is possible to ensure that beneficiaries receive the appropriate payment for these services received since Oct. 17, 2006,” said Army Maj. Gen. Elder Granger, Tricare’s deputy director.
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2007 legislated the change, and Tricare revised the regional contracts to expand coverage for the services. The services require preauthorization through the regional Tricare contractors.
The change in statute does not provide coverage for the actual dental care services. Coverage for dental care services is available through the Tricare Dental Program and the Tricare Retiree Dental Program.
Tricare officials remind beneficiaries that to avoid costly and extensive dental procedures requiring anesthesia, children should start seeing a dentist by the time their first tooth appears or by their first birthday; this helps to prevent tooth decay and other oral diseases.
“Decay is the single most common chronic childhood dental disease, and it’s completely preventable,” Granger said.