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News in brief

Published: 11:40AM January 24th, 2013

New co-payments set to begin for TRICARE pharmacy customers

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — New co-payments for prescription drugs covered by TRICARE will soon go into effect. The Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act requires TRICARE to increase co-pays on brand name and non-formulary medications that are not filled at military clinics or hospitals. There is no increase to co-pays for generic medications. Increases will be effective sometime in February, depending on when system changes can be made, and the publication of a required federal notice.

TRICARE Pharmacy co-pays vary based on the class of drug and where beneficiaries choose to fill their prescriptions. The co-pay for generic medications stays at $5 when a prescription is filled at a network pharmacy. There is no co-pay when generic prescriptions are filled through TRICARE Home Delivery. The new co-pay for a 30-day supply of a brand name medication purchased at a retail network pharmacy will be $17, up from the current $12. Beneficiaries using TRICARE Home Delivery will pay $13 for brand name drugs, up from $9. However, the Home Delivery price is for a 90-day supply.

The greatest change in co-pays applies to non-formulary medications. The $25 co-pay for these drugs increases to $44 at retail pharmacies and $43 through home delivery. The TRICARE Uniform Formulary is a list of all the medications TRICARE covers.

For fiscal 2014 and beyond, the new law directs that co-pays increase annually by the same percentage as retiree cost-of-living adjustments. In years when a COLA increase would total less than a dollar, it will be delayed a year and combined with the next adjustment so increases will always be $1 or more. Pharmacies at military hospitals and clinics will continue to provide medications with no co-pays. Visit for more details. (See TRICARE co-payments chart on Page A12.)

TRICARE Management Activity

ASBBC-PNW recognizes individuals for blood donorship

The Armed Services Blood Bank Center - Pacific Northwest honored its only source of lifesaving blood, the donors, during a ceremony on Jan. 16 at the McChord Field Collocated Club. Madigan Deputy Commander for Nursing Col. Lena Gaudreau recognized Dennis Vernon as an exemplary platelet donor for reaching the milestone of 100 donations from 2004 to 2012. Vernon’s donations have provided Madigan Army Medical Center and the military with 179 blood products worth more than $121,000. The ASBBC-PNW collected 7,617 units of blood in 2012 by conducting 152 blood drives supported by each military branch, area ROTC programs, the JBLM Exchanges, and American Lake Veterans Affairs Hospital.

Jay J. Ebbeson, Public Affairs Officer

New class designed to help Airmen reach career goals

The staff of the 446th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center is excited to bring to McChord Field Reservists a new class that will help them “Land That Job!”

A diverse team of dedicated people will provide tools and insight on many topics essential to reaching your career goals.

“Land That Job” will be a series of courses spread out over the next four months. The first course will be resume building. In this first offering, Airmen will be presented structures and resources to assist in creating a strong resume.

For the second month the class will cover the process for applying for jobs. The third and fourth months will cover interview preparation and creating cover letters, respectively.

Join the staff from the A&FRC every Sunday of the primary UTA at 10 a.m. The classes will be in Building 1207 (A&FRC conference room). Contact Carl Supplee at 982-5330 for additional information.

Course Schedule:

Feb. 10, resume building March 3, applying for jobs

April 7, interview preparation

May 5, creating cover letters

446th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center

Employer Orientation Day rescheduled for May 4

Due to ongoing budget concerns, the 446th Airlift Wing commander has moved the upcoming Employer Orientation Day to May 4.

Previously scheduled for April 6, Employer Orientation Day remains on the schedule as a vital link between reservists and their civilian employers.

Civilian employers of reservists are more likely to be supportive and have a good employer and employee relationship when they have a clear understanding of the reservists’ mission and obligations. One of the best avenues for providing this understanding is through the 446th Airlift Wing’s Employer Orientation Day. Traditionally held each April and October, this is the first employer orientation day since October 2011, when the event was skipped as the wing prepared for an operational readiness inspection.

Reservists can nominate their immediate supervisors, human resources specialists, or an executive or owner of the business they work for, to spend the day with the wing learning about the Air Force Reserve, the 446th Airlift Wing and its missions, and how reservists serve. There are only 60 slots available, 30 reservists and 30 employers — one employer per reservist. Once all 60 slots are filled, a standby list will be maintained in the event we have any participants cancel.

The May 4 employer orientation day will include demonstrations of the deployment processing line, the equipment used by reservists to protect themselves from chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear attacks, explosive ordnance disposal techniques, and medical requirements.

The employers and their sponsoring reservists will also board a C-17 for a two-hour flight, which will include an airdrop demonstration and a combat offload. This event is flown on an already scheduled training mission.

Applications are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservists interested in sponsoring their employer for the May 4 employer orientation day need to submit an application to the 446th AW Public Affairs Office no later than April 6, where the application can be downloaded. Or, stop by the public affairs office to pick up an application. For more information, call 446th AW/PA at 982-3330.

Sandra Pishner, 446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs