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Veteran Services: Benefits

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You served your country, and in the process you were injured. It could be a bad back. It could be loss of limb. Or maybe you're not sure if you're entitled to any government benefits. American Legion service officers file thousands of VA claims each year on behalf of America's veterans. And the Legion's Benefits Calculator can help you prepare to file a claim.

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TRICARE switching to electronic payments

TRICARE switching to electronic payments

TRICARE will stop taking premium payments by mail for the TRICARE Reserve Select and Tricare Retired Reserve programs at the end of the year. Starting Jan. 1, TRICARE will accept only electronic funds transfers or credit and debit cards for the monthly payments.

The switch will align the military health system’s payment procedures and save processing costs, according to TRICARE.

After Jan. 1, nearly all premium payments for TRICARE programs will be electronic, except in the West Region where contract manager TriWest Healthcare Alliance still accepts TRICARE Prime premiums by mail. TRICARE is urging beneficiaries to verify that their banks make EFT payments or set up a recurring card payment.

The Defense Manpower Data Center will notify affected beneficiaries by email. New beneficiaries will be notified in their welcome packages.

Monthly premiums are due by the last day of the month for the following month’s coverage. Failure to pay by that day results in termination of coverage, so TRR and TRS beneficiaries will want to ensure their payment is made electronically on or before Dec. 31, TRICARE officials said. Failure to pay on time could result in a 12-month lockout.

Monthly premiums for TRICARE Reserve Select in 2013 will decline for individual coverage but rise slightly for family coverage. For individuals, the premium will be $51.62, down from $54.35 this year. For a family, it will be $195.81, up from $192.89 this year.

For TRICARE Retired Reserve, the premiums are set to decline in 2013 for both individual and family coverage. For individuals, the premium will be $402.11, down from $419.72 this year. For a family, it will be $969.10, down from $1,024.43 this year.

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