NCCOC Legislative Liaisons

June 14, 2017

NCCOC 2nd VP Harley Ellinger posted:

- "As we become ready for our August Recess Legislative Visits in North Carolina, I would like you to review the latest version of TRICARE (not TRICARE FOR LIFE – over age 65). I am sure this will be a topic of the NATIONAL MOAA POINT PAPERS. Rest assured the other topics: commissary, housing, Widow’s Tax, sequestration, COLA, and overall compensation or military pay. It is now time to become informed on these subjects."

- "I will continue to pass on information, and of course the POINT PAPERS OF NATIONAL MOAA when they arrive."

TRICARE Changes Coming Soon...from a June 9, 2017 message from David B. Lobb, COL US Army (Ret.)SC MOAA Council President

- The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) brought sweeping health care reforms, many of which will take effect in just a few months. MOAA is working closely with TRICARE program officials to learn what new processes and responsibilities these changes will bring for TRICARE beneficiaries and when they will occur.

- The new TRICARE Select option, which replaces TRICARE Standard and Extra, begins Jan. 1, 2018 - just 6 short months from now. TRICARE Select is the self-managed preferred provider organization (PPO) option. It provides freedom of choice of providers, with reduced/fixed fee beneficiary out-of-pocket costs for care in the network. TRICARE Prime, TRICARE Reserve Select, TRICARE Retired Reserve, and TRICARE Young Adult and TRICARE for Life will remain as is.

- Under the new model, beneficiaries must make an active, annual choice of health plan for themselves and/or their family. Because 2018 is the first year of the plan, there will be a grace period, and beneficiaries will be automatically renewed in their existing TRICARE option as of Dec. 31, 2017. This means beneficiaries currently in TRICARE Standard or Extra will be converted automatically into TRICARE Select.

- Active duty family members newly entitled to TRICARE will be automatically enrolled in TRICARE Prime if they live in a Prime Service Area (generally around a military treatment facility). If not, they will be enrolled in TRICARE Select.

- Two populations may be at risk of losing coverage:

* Active duty members who retire and do not elect to enroll in an option. MOAA is advocating for a seamless enrollment default option for this population, as well as increased transition education services.

* Retiree beneficiaries who fail to pay their enrollment fees. Officials have stated that eligible beneficiaries will never lose their benefit, as they will always be eligible for care at military hospitals. However, this would most likely be on a space-available basis.

- Enrollment Details

* Year 1 (2018): Auto renewal (Jan. 1, 2018) and grace period: Can change TRICARE Prime or Select at any time in 2018

* Year 2 (2019) and beyond: Can elect TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select coverage (enroll, dis-enroll, or change) only during annual open season (1 Nov - 20 Dec) or if the beneficiary has a qualifying life event:

- Marriage, divorce, or annulment

- Birth or adoption of a child

- Placement of a child by a court in a member's home

- Change in sponsor status

- Loss of eligibility (due to age, Medicare, etc.)

- Move to a new ZIP code

- Loss/gain of other health insurance

- Death of a sponsor, spouse, or child

- Change in eligibility status of any single family member in another family ( e.g. joint service member)

- All qualifying life events require a Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) update. If beneficiaries request a change in coverage, it must occur within 90 days of the life event.

- Beneficiary cost shares will be based on the sponsor's “date initially entered into service” (DIEMS). Per the 2017 NDAA, those who have entered into service prior to Jan. 1, 2018, are grandfathered into existing cost shares - unless the 2018 NDAA incorporates provisions from the administration's budget proposal to repeal grandfathering (see “ TRICARE Fees to Get a Big Raise”).

- As many of these changes show, beneficiaries will be expected to take more responsibility for their health care. MOAA will continue to work closely with DoD to ensure program changes will be beneficiary-centered and clearly communicated to all stakeholders.

What is the most important thing you can do right now? Make sure your DEERS information is updated for both you and your family. Here's how to update DEERS.

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Veterans Experience Action Center June 16-17, 2017

Veterans Experience Action Center

June 16-17, 2017

Open the attached document (below) with information regarding the Veterans Experience Action Center that is being hosted by the Winston-Salem Veteran Affairs Regional Office along with Durham County Veterans Services and Greater Triangle Community Veterans Partnership at Durham County Human Services Building, 414 E Main St., Durham, NC 27701 on June 16-17, 2017.

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Media Advisory - Durham3 (pdf 63.2 Kb)

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Durham-Orange Chapter Cup Cake Experience
Durham-Orange Chapter Cup Cake Experience

Durham-Orange Chapter Cup Cake Experience

* Six members of the Durham-Orange Chapter met at the home of President Bruce Harris on June 13, 2017 to decorate cupcakes baked at member's homes...lots of fun and festive cupcakes were the final product (pictured, lower right as proof!)

* A volunteer met us curbside at Raleigh Durham Airport (RDU) to take them up to the USO.

* A fun afternoon which provided good feelings by all knowing that they're really appreciated. This particular sharing experience was to celebrate U.S. Army birthday...plans are to do this for every service birthday....next is Coast Guard in August!

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MOAA Storms the NC Legislature April 26, 2017
MOAA Storms the NC Legislature

MOAA Storms the NC Legislature

April 26, 2017

Pictured ( L to R): Doug Ehrhardt, Iggy Husar, Harley Ellinger, Jeri Graham, Marie Senzig and Vern Pike.

Pictured (bottom thumbnail photograph) is Jeri Graham, Legislative Chair, North Carolina Veterans Council with James Prosser, Director, North Carolina Department of Veteran Affairs.

Scroll over the thumbnail pictures (right) to see some of the Veterans organizations that were represented at the event.

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MOAA's 2016 Col. Marvin J. Harris Communication Awards April 6, 2017
MOAA's 2016 Col. Marvin J. Harris Communication Awards

MOAA's 2016 Col. Marvin J. Harris Communication Awards

April 6, 2017

* The MOAA Councils and Chapters that are the recipients of 2016 Col. Marvin J. Harris Communication Awards were announced at the President's Seminar which took place after "Storming the Hill."

* Pictured (above right): CAPT Douglas Ehrhardt, USN, Ret., President of the North Carolina Council of Chapters is presented a 5 Star award for the Council website by Lt Gen Dana Atkins, USAF, Ret., President and CEO of MOAA.

* Pictured (below right) is the group photograph of the representatives of the 137 award recipients from the attendees at the President's Seminar.

North Carolina Council of Chapters Awards:

* 5 Star

- North Carolina Council of Chapters Website

- Cape Fear Chapter Website

- Sandhills Chapter Website

* 4 Star

- North Carolina Council of Chapters E-Newsletter

- Cape Fear Chapter Print Newsletter

- Coastal Carolina Website

- Coastal Carolina Print Newsletter

- Sandhills Chapter Print Newsletter

- SENCLand Chapter Website

- SENCLand Chapter Print Newsletter

- Triangle Chapter Website

- Triangle Chapter Print Newsletter

- Catawba Valley Chapter Website

- Catawba Valley Chapter Print Newsletter

- New River Chapter Website

- New River Chapter E-Newsletter

KUDOS TO ALL OUR COUNCIL AWARDEES!

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Marix Awards Ceremony, Dirksen Senate Office Building April 4, 2017

Marix Awards Ceremony, Dirksen Senate Office Building

April 4, 2017

The Military Officers Association of America Marix Awards Ceremony, named for MOAA's first president, was on April 4th...North Carolina Council of Chapters President, CAPT Doug Ehrhardt, USN, Ret., and his wife Cathy, attended the ceremony as part of the annual event on Capitol Hill with the North Carolina Council of Chapters delegation and other MOAA council and chapter members in DC for "Storming the Hill," 2017.

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NCCOC Prepares to "Storm the Hill" April 4, 2017

NCCOC Prepares to "Storm the Hill"

April 4, 2017

* The North Carolina Council of Chapters delegation that will "Storm the Hill" tomorrow, April 5th to meet our 2 Senators and 13 Representatves to bring our message of two primary issues of importance to the military - active, retired, Guard and Reserve, officer AND enlisted, as well as surviving spouses of deceased persons is pictured. Issue #1 - sequestration, and Issue #2 - the SBP/DIC offset.

* Shown (left to right): COL Ed Baisden, USA, Ret., COL Jeri Graham, USA, Ret., Lt Gen Dana Atkins,USAF, Ret. and CAPT Doug Ehrhardt, USN, Ret.

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