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Lankford Turns Oklahoma Veteran’s Frustration with TRICARE into a Win for Veterans

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – After hearing from an Oklahoma veteran who wanted an easier process for getting his prescription drugs paid for at the pharmacy, Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today announced a major victory for veterans’ health care after CVS stated they will rejoin the TRICARE network for prescription drugs, which will make processing claims for prescription drugs simpler and more efficient for Oklahoma veterans. This change will take effect on December 15, 2021.

Lankford heard from an Oklahoma veteran whose pharmacy did not participate in the TRICARE Network and so he was forced to file claims “manually” instead of electronically. Lankford took the issue directly to the source and sent a letter to the Director of the Defense Health Agency, Lieutenant General Ronald Place, in June to ask him to explore electronic submission capabilities to keep veterans from being forced to manually (by fax or “snail mail”) submit their claims if their pharmacy is not in the TRICARE network.

“This change by TRICARE to include additional pharmacies in their network is good for our veterans who use a CVS pharmacy,” said Lankford. “Oklahoma veterans deserve the best and most efficient care we can provide. This change will mean one less hassle for our heroes. We need to make this process more efficient across the country, for all pharmacies, so veterans can get their TRICARE prescriptions paid through a 21st-century process.”

When a veteran uses TRICARE and utilizes private insurance, the private insurance is deemed the primary insurance and is billed before TRICARE. If TRICARE coverage is needed and the pharmacy is within the TRICARE network, the pharmacy simply electronically bills TRICARE for the remaining amount. If the pharmacy does not participate in the TRICARE network, the veteran is forced to manually (by fax or “snail mail”) submit their claims for reimbursement by TRICARE.