Substance abuse and mental health issues are on the rise in the military community, and TRICARE — the insurance provider for service members and their families — is announcing it will offer expanded options to help members attack those problems.
According to its updated site, “TRICARE covers medically and psychologically necessary mental health and substance use disorder care. This includes both inpatient and outpatient care.”
Military insurance will now cover emergency and non-emergency hospitalization, pediatric psychological care, inpatient and residential care for substance-use disorders, as well as hospitalization or outpatient care for substance-use disorder treatment.
“If someone does well in inpatient psychiatric care and no longer requires 24-hour care, they could step down a level. Their options may be a partial hospital program, an intensive outpatient program at six hours a day, or outpatient treatment with a TRICARE-authorized provider,” Dr. Patricia Moseley, a senior policy analyst for military child and family behavioral health at the Defense Health Agency, said in a press release. “Now we have a continuum of care to meet our beneficiaries’ needs.”
Not only is TRICARE offering more treatment options, it’s also lowering the cost.
“Mental health and substance use disorder treatment is now cost equivalent to medical and surgical care, as it should be,” Moseley said.
For example, now outpatient mental health and substance use disorder appointments only cost $12 out of pocket — down from $25 in early 2016.
The insurance company has also taken steps to expand its network of health providers by easing certification requirements.
“Becoming TRICARE-authorized is now a more streamlined process for providers and facilities,” the release said, adding that the change would mean “more options for TRICARE beneficiaries.”
A competitor performs push-ups during the physical fitness event at the Minnesota Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition on April 4, 2019, at Camp Ripley, Minnesota. (Minnesota National Guard photo by Sgt. Sebastian Nemec)
Despite what you may have heard, the Army has not declared war on mustaches.
The Army W.T.F! Moments Facebook page on Monday posted a memo written by a 3rd Infantry Division company commander telling his soldiers that only the fittest among them will be allowed to sprout facial hair under their warrior nostrils.
"During my tenure at Battle Company, I have noticed a direct correlation between mustaches and a lack of physical fitness," the memo says. "In an effort to increase the physical fitness of Battle Company, mustaches will not be authorized for any soldier earning less than a 300 on the APFT [Army Physical Fitness Test]."
A U.S. Army Soldier assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, Fort Wainwright, Alaska, consoles a fellow Soldier after sleeping on the ground in a designated sleeping area on another cold evening, between training exercises during NTC 17-03, National Training Center, Ft. Irwin, CA., Jan. 15, 2017. (U.S. Army/Spc. Tracy McKithern)
The Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) is the largest official database of U.S. military media available for public consumption. It is also an occasional source of unexpected laughs, like this gem from a live fire exercise that a public affairs officer simply tagged 'Fire mortar boom.' In the world of droll data entry and too many acronyms, sometimes little jokes are their own little form of rebellion, right?
But some DVIDS uploads, however, come with captions and titles that cut right to the core, perfectly capturing the essence of life in the U.S. military in a way that makes you sigh, facepalm, and utter a mournful, 'too real.'
The U.S. military does not need Iraqi permission to fly close air support and casualty evacuation missions for U.S. troops in combat, a top spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS clarified on Tuesday.
Army Col. James Rawlinson clarified that the Iraqis do not need to approve missions in emergency circumstances after Task & Purpose reported on Monday that the U.S. military needed permission to fly CAS missions for troops in a fight.
Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.
It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.
Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.