Information and updates
About US Family Health Plan
Open Season is November 14 - December 13, 2022
November 4, 2022. If you aren't already enrolled in US Family Health Plan or another TRICARE Prime option, or you want to change TRICARE plans, you can enroll in US Family Health Plan during Open Season. This year's Open Season is November 14 - December 13 for the Plan Year that starts January 1, 2023.
Why join US Family Health Plan?
- Great benefits. The full TRICARE Prime benefit plus more.
- Low (or no) cost. Free for active-duty families (except for prescriptions). A modest annual enrollment fee and low, flat copayments for everyone else.
- Choice. Thousands of civilian doctors and dozens of civilian hospitals across southern New England, including Boston Children's Hospital.
You can also enroll up to 90 days after a Qualifying Life Event. Learn about Qualifying Life Events at TRICARE.mil/LifeEvents.
Attend an in-person Q&A in your area or an online webinar. Find dates and times at usfamilyhealth.org/QandA.
Learn more about us at usfamilyhealth.org or by calling 888.815.5510.
If you're already a member of US Family Health Plan, you don't need to do anything during Open Season to remain on the Plan. However, if you want to change your TRICARE coverage for 2023, you must make this change during Open Season.
August 22, 2022. In May 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a waiver of copayments for telehealth services. The waiver was part of efforts by federal, state, and local governments to encourage people to stay home, avoiding exposure and reducing the transmission of the virus.
Since that time, vaccines have fortunately become widely available, and the government will soon end the waiver. Although telehealth services remain a covered US Family Health Plan benefit, starting September 6, 2022, Plan members who make copayments for covered health care services (including mental health services) will also make copayments for telehealth services. Telehealth services include services provided by our network providers as well as services provided through the Teladoc® program.
- Retirees and family members without Medicare Part B (as well as non-active-duty dependents under age 65) will continue to make copayments for health care services (including mental health services) covered by the Plan. As of September 6, they will also make copayments for telehealth services.
- Active-duty family members and/or members with Medicare Part B do not make copayments for covered health care services and are not affected by the repeal of the waiver.
If you have any questions about this change please call Member Services at 1.800.818.8589. (Please note that the phone number in the letter mailed to members August 17, 2022 was incorrect. We apologize for the mistake.)
Monkeypox Vaccine Information
August 16, 2022. Learn about the JYNNEOS vaccine for monkeypox and its availability in Massachusetts at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/monkeypox-vaccination. Learn about the vaccine’s availability in Rhode Island at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/monkeypox-vaccination.
Change to National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Access
As of July 16, 2022, access to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Veterans Crisis Line is easier. Americans can now call or text to 988 if they or someone they care about are experiencing a mental health crisis or are at risk of suicide. The 988 number replaces the longer number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (phone or text 800.273.8255). A new 988 (then press 1) number replaces 800.273.8255 (then press 1), the original number for the Veterans Crisis Line, bringing callers to specialized assistance for military veterans and their families.
COVID-19 Vaccinations and Treatment
July 7, 2022. Have you tested positive for COVID-19? The Massachusetts Department of Public Health can help. Use their free telehealth service as soon as you can to see if Paxlovid is right for you. If it is, the DPH will have it ready at a local pharmacy or deliver it to your home. Learn more at https://t.co/CUIk2n7wfI.
June 21, 2022. : Have you tested positive for COVID-19? Free treatment options can help reduce your symptoms and prevent you from getting seriously sick. The sooner you start, the better. Call your doctor ASAP and find out more at https://t.co/TY16IDVl57.
March 31, 2022. The CDC has launched COVID.gov, a one-stop toolkit to help users find vaccines, treatments, and testing and to provide community-level data.
The Massachusetts website that provides COVID-19 information now includes information on obtaining a digital vaccine card, selecting and using a safe mask, and obtaining vaccines and boosters. Go to mass.gov/CovidVaccine.
March 30, 2022. The CDC has updated its recommendations to allow certain immunocompromised people and people over age 50 who received a first booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago to be eligible for another mRNA booster to increase their protection against severe disease from COVID-19. Adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago may now receive a second booster using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
January 11, 2022. US Family Health Plan covers the cost of COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots for Plan members in eligible age groups, whether they obtain their vaccination at a pharmacy, health center, or other location. If you have an order from your doctor and a COVID test is deemed medically necessary, the cost will be covered by US Family Health Plan. "At home" tests are not covered by the Plan. Learn more at https://www.tricare.mil/covid19testing.
December 2021. COVID-19 vaccination is now recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or who might become pregnant.
As of November 19, 2021, booster shots are available to all adults 18 and older who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, if at least six months have passed since their second dose. They are also eligible if they have received the single-dose J&J vaccine, if at least two months have passed since they received the vaccine.
If You Have COVID-19 Symptoms
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, have been in close contact with a person sick with COVID-19, or traveled to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19, do not make an appointment or walk into your provider's office. Instead, stay at home and call your provider's office so they can assess your symptoms. Members may also call the 24-Hour Nurse Advice Line at 1.866.767.4546.
These government resources are updated often:
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
State of Rhode Island Department of Health
Online VA Workshops Help You Get a Handle on Your Health
It's easy to learn about a range of health and wellness topics in the privacy of your home. The Veterans Administration (VA) offers free, confidential, online workshops on topics including insomnia, anger management, problem-solving, and parenting skills. Go to https://veterantraining.va.gov to get started.
Closing of Hanscom AFB Medical Practice
January 25, 2022. Starting February 1, 2022, our medical practice at Hanscom AFB will be closing. Plan members were sent a letter in in December about the change and about options for care, which include seeing Mara Wermuth, NP; Dr. Larry Chin; Dr. Lester Sheehan (orthopedics); Dr. Scott Horwitz (podiatry); and other providers at St. Elizabeth's Health Care at Brighton Marine, 77 Warren Street, in Brighton, MA. Please call Member Services at 800.818.8589 with any questions you may have or for help finding a provider near you.
Addition of Audio-Only Health Care Visits
US Family Health Plan now cover7s audio-only telehealth services. This allows members to continue care with in-network providers who may not usually use telemedicine. It allows members who don’t have in-home technology, such as smartphones or computers, or who are in rural areas without broadband internet, to access care.