Proudly Supporting all Military Families with a Special Needs Dependent
This is a second blog in a series about the upcoming transition from TriWest to United Health Care. To read the first blog post, click HERE.
On a cold day in March last year, the pediatrician delivered the news: my son has Autism. I knew it was coming, there was no surprise. But that night I sat down and wrote my son a letter, making him seven promises:
It seems life has thrown us another curve ball. But together, with determination and probably a fair amount of cussing from me, we will make it work. It won’t be easy, but these are my promises to you:
I love you,
It’s been a bumpy road, and in the last few months, that first promise has been put to the ultimate test.
Earlier in the year, I wrote about our struggles to keep continuity of care after United Military and Veterans Healthcare takes over the contract for TRIWEST. The day that blog was published I was promptly contacted by United. I gave them my son’s OT’s contact information and they promised to rectify the situation.
Delays in communication and lack of clarification have extended what should be a simple process. I have been assured by my son’s OT center that the United representative they have been in contact with has been nothing but friendly. However the process has been slow going.
According to United Healthcare, therapy providers were initially supposed to receive the TRICARE Amendment in their contract stating the reimbursement rates would be comparable to TRIWEST. However, many of the providers I have spoken with never received this vital piece of information in their contract. In its place, in black and white, was a paper stating a very low reimbursement rate. Was this a simple, unintentional mistake? An oversight? I sure hope so. I would hate to think that a company serving as the military’s insurance contractor would be that devious on purpose.
Do me a favor: ask your PTs and OTs if your provider was missing this crucial part of their contract. If so, they may call (888) 870-8171 to speak with a representative. I urge your providers to contact United Healthcare as quickly as possible. The transition will be here before we know it and with the lack of urgency on United Healthcare’s behalf to remedy provider concerns, there is a real possibility that your services could be stalled because of slow customer relations.
If you are interested, United HealthCare is hiring. According to several job listing sites, “A Congressional Inquiry Analyst is needed for TRICARE. Answer inquiries from congressional offices after beneficiaries escalate issues.” Sounds like a problem to me. Damn those beneficiaries and their escalating issues.
Miranda is a Navy wife and mother to three kids: Hailey, Josie and Teague. All three have a swallowing disorder, Teague has ASD and Josie has Chiari. Miranda is the VP of Community Outreach for the Military Special Needs Network. You can contact her at MirandaFort@MilitarySpecialNeedsNetwork.com
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