Article excerpt

Reserve Soldiers and Families who don't know if their civilian health care provider accepts TRICARE should simply ask. Doctors and their office staff are often surprised how easy it is to become a "TRICARE authorized provider" and how quickly claims are paid. Signing up takes as little as 15 minutes by phone and joining a network is not required.

TRICARE authorized providers can accept TRICARE Reserve Select between deployments and continue to care for the Soldier's Family after his mobilization if Family members use TRICARE Standard. This flexible arrangement can help ease the process of moving from reserve to active status and back again.

"If you want to see a provider who is unfamiliar with TRICARE, I encourage you to invite him or her to join the TRICARE team," said Rear Adm. Christine Hunter, deputy director of the TRICARE Management Activity. "Soldiers can download a brochure on 'Inviting a Health Care Provider to Become TRICAREAuthorized' from the TRICARE website and give it to their provider."

The handout, located at Provider, explains the benefits of being a TRICARE provider and includes information about the process. Once authorized, providers can bill TRICARE for services without accepting discounted fees. …