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"LBJ TRICARE PHARMACY BENEFITS LOST — WHY?”

Dear Editor:
 
As of November 01, 2013, we military retirees lost our local Tricare pharmacy benefits. This was not the U.S. government making program changes, but LBJ Hospital. So while local politicians are praising us for our service on this Veterans Day, they decided to eliminate one of the few benefits we and our dependents have enjoyed for years.
 
I approached the hospital administration and asked why they were making this decision and were given two reasons. One reason was idiotic in my opinion and the other is really bothering me as a retiree.
 
The first reason was because LBJ is not networked into Tricare and requests for reimbursement are done manually and take too long. Why don't you have the software needed? Answer:”We can't afford it!!” They can give themselves $100,000.plus salaries but can't bother to purchase the equipment to deal with Tricare which now affects so many older retirees and their dependents financially. Shame on LBJ and its Board for using that reasoning— or is it greed — I’m not sure.
 
The second reason should really concern every military retiree on this Island.
 
I was told that LBJ has had a slew of reimbursement requests to Tricare for pharmaceuticals issued turned down because of the fact that the persons named on the request are not legal military eligibles. Is this because of phony IDs or expired IDs?
 
For years ID card abuse has been suspected here, especially at the PX. The local Army Reserve is responsible for ID card issuing and I ask them, why is this happening? It's bad enough at the PX but now it's costing all of us retirees and our families and we don't deserve that.
 
Jim Brittle
 
 



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