Shutdown of Thirty Eight Military Hospitals in The US: What’s Next for Retirees and Families Seeking Treatment

Feared and respected by nations around the world the U.S. has the most powerful military. The United States of America has devoted soldiers willing to sacrifice their life for the flag, office and of course the American people. Forget the bravery of these soldiers for they are also humans and need the best treatment and treatment facilities when in need of medical attention.

While there are many military hospitals structured to handle the medical needs of soldiers, there are also lots of citizens out there who are in dire need of quality health care and these hospitals are capable to handle the needs of varied patients.

Thirty-Eight Military Hospitals Closed

It came as not only a surprise but also disappointment to patients and retirees in some 38 military hospitals nationwide that, they will receive treatment no more. To make matters worse, the said hospitals in association with their pharmacies will stop providing drugs to retired military personnel. This news headlines became public after a 12-page memo was reviewed by Military.com.

After the review was completed, 50 commanders charged with controlling the military treatment facilities (MTFs) for changes. Amongst other things, the memo cited three pertinent issues. Which were

  • The impacts of a planned MTF restructuring by military commanders
  • Explaining the upcoming changes, signed by Lt. Gen. Ronald Pace, who directs theDefense Health Agency
  • Providing communications guidance to public affairs personnel

What’s Next For Retirees

Ordered by Congress in 2016, these changes although surprising to many came as a review of military hospital operations and a system consolidation under the Defense Health Agency. The reviews of the said military hospitals were designed to

  • Increasing focus on military readiness
  • Cut about 18,000 uniformed medical personnel
  • Increase focus onactive-duty support

However in order to achieve this, a huge number of family members and retirees to whom they currently offer care would be sidelined. In addition, the report sent to Congress as detailed in the memo prepared a ground rule for Pentagon’s path for those changes.

Military Treatment Facilities

While there is a plan to curb military health services and focus solely on those still in services, reducing the number MTFs by twelve for a record 50, imagine what the future hold for retirees. With over 200,000 beneficiaries stripped off medical care, the civilian health care facilities are the only one’s equipped to handle the massive influx of such patients. With such scenarios at hand, these facilities are bound to stop offering pharmacy support for users not on active duty and concentrate more on retirees.

Tricare: For Civilian Health Care

The inception of Tricare has been a huge plus for retirees and the elderly seeking treatment with limited funds to support their bills. With Tricare

  • You pay less out-of-pocket
  • You only have to pay your cost-share to the provider
  • Your provider will collect the rest of the amount directly from Tricare

While many were on the verge of frustration and confusion regarding the new memo for the surviving military hospitals. A wide array of veterans and retirees found refuge in Tricare, and with their top-notch service offering. Many patients destined for the worst are now hopeful and can finally see that shining light at the end of the tunnel.

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