Understanding the TRICARE Overseas Program
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Moving to a new duty station is never an easy task, especially if it is to an overseas location. Airmen must ship household goods, ensure passports are created for themselves and their family, schedule flights and accomplish many other vital tasks.
Now imagine breaking a leg during the 20-hour travel day across the Pacific Ocean.
Life would get overwhelming, fast. The last thing anyone wants to think about during their move is TRICARE. Knowing it's mandatory for all Airmen to call TRICARE Overseas to enroll can save time and keep medical care convenient.
"If you don't sign up for TRICARE Overseas by calling the number and enrolling your care is affected," said Capt. Inna Mikhailova, the 35th Medical Group group practice manager. "You aren't given a primary care manager and without a PCM, no one is managing your care or ensuring you are taken care of."
Mikhailova describes how not signing up also affects the 35th MDG, ultimately reverting back to each individual patient's care.
"The medical group receives PCM's by the number of patients enrolled in TRICARE Overseas," Mikhailova said. "Currently 12 percent of the Air Force population on base are not enrolled. This affects the care we provide to each patient by not having the correct amount of PCM's at our base. Not having the correct information also impacts the statistics on the disease burden of the population; meaning if everyone was enrolled and we see there are a plethora of diabetes cases we can get the proper specialist in to help educate and care for patients."
To alleviate these issues, the TRICARE Overseas team from the 35th MDG briefs every incoming family at Right Start.
"When we brief at Right Start, we give step-by-step instructions on how to enroll," said Master Sgt. Judy Khamphan, the 35th MDG TRICARE operations and patient administration flight chief. "Everyone receives a pamphlet containing who needs to enroll and a DSN and U.S. phone number you can call to enroll."
Both Airmen and family members can be enrolled in roughly five minutes by following the steps described in the pamphlet. For more information on the TRICARE Overseas program, see the link below or walk-in or schedule an appointment with the TRICARE team at 226-6000.
To enroll by DSN dial: 99-0120-983990