10/22/2010 - FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AFRNS) -- TRICARE-For-Life beneficiaries have many options when it comes to staying protected during the fall and winter flu season.
Influenza vaccines are covered by Medicare at no cost to TFL beneficiaries as long as they are administered by a Medicare provider who agrees to accept the Medicare-approved amount as full payment.
Flu shots are also covered by TRICARE if obtained at participating TRICARE network pharmacies in the United States. Beneficiaries should call ahead to their pharmacy to determine if it participates in the TRICARE program and has vaccine available. To find a participating pharmacy, go to www.express-scripts.com/TRICARE or call Express Scripts toll free at 877-363-1303.
Many military clinics or hospitals also offer flu shots to military retirees, often in conjunction with military Retiree Appreciation Days. For a list of upcoming Air Force events, visit www.retirees.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=11781. Other options may include local health departments and Veterans Administration medical centers. TRICARE officials advise people to always check ahead for availability before making the trip.
TFL beneficiaries who live in U.S. territories overseas may access either Medicare providers or TRICARE retail pharmacies to get an influenza vaccination within the territory. Medicare will not pay for care outside the United States and its territories.
Those who live overseas outside of U.S. territories should make an appointment with a local provider. Beneficiaries may have to pay the provider at the time of service and file a claim for the office visit.
This year's influenza vaccine provides protection from three strains of influenza, including the 2009 H1N1 virus in one shot. TRICARE covers all age-appropriate doses of vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For more information about seasonal vaccines and TRICARE visit the flu page at www.tricare.mil/flu. (Courtesy of TRICARE)