Friday, October 30, 2009

Hot Shots! TRICARE Makes H1N1 Immunizations Easy for Beneficiaries

Immunizations against the H1N1 virus will soon be available, and people are eager to take precautions. TRICARE Prime, Standard and Extra beneficiaries can get their shots from network and non-network providers without paying a deductible or making a co-payment. A temporary waiver allows non-active duty TRICARE Prime enrollees to get the H1N1 immunization from non-network providers without a referral or authorization, eliminating point-of-service charges. Prime enrollees will not be charged a co-payment or cost share.

Active duty service members should follow the guidance of their respective services.

“Preventive medicine is a very important part of TRICARE’s goal of keeping service members, retirees and families healthy,” said Rear Adm. Christine Hunter, deputy director of the TRICARE Management Activity. “To that end, we make getting vaccinated as convenient and affordable as possible. Beneficiaries should talk to their primary care manager if they have any questions about the H1N1 vaccine or other vaccines.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the vaccine for the seasonal flu is not expected to protect against H1N1; immunization for the 2009 H1N1 strain is therefore recommended. Both vaccines can be administered on the same day.

CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that everyone get the H1N1 vaccine, but for certain groups vaccination is more critical. These include:

• Pregnant women;
• People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months;
• Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel;
• Everyone between the ages of 6 months and 24 years;
• People ages 25 through 64 with chronic health disorders or compromised immune
systems; and
• Older people with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma or HIV.

For more information on H1N1 and other seasonal flu conditions, beneficiaries should contact their primary care manager or visit the TRICARE Web site at, or go to the Department of Defense Pandemic Influenza Watchboard at

About TRICARE Management Activity and the Military Health System
TRICARE Management Activity, the Defense Department activity that administers the health care plan for the uniformed services, retirees and their families, serves more than 9.5 million eligible beneficiaries worldwide in the Military Health System (MHS). The mission of the MHS is to enhance Department of Defense and national security by providing health support for the full range of military operations. The MHS provides quality medical care through a network of providers, military treatment facilities, medical clinics and dental clinics worldwide.

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