Newsbytes 10-29-21     
In this issue:
House Bill to Give Medal to Service Members Killed in Afghanistan
Changes Coming to TRICARE Pharmacy Network
VA will Start Collecting Over-payment and Medical Co-pays

House Passes Bill to Give Medal to Service Members Killed in Afghanistan
The House unanimously passed a bill (H.R.5142) to posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to the 13 U.S. troops killed in a bomb blast outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul. Eleven Marines, one Navy sailor and one Army soldier died from the explosion set off by a suicide bomber near the airport on August 26, 2021. In addition, 18 U.S. service members were injured. The bill sponsored by Rep. Lisa McClain (Mich.) will go to the Senate for further consideration. 

Changes Coming to TRICARE Pharmacy Network
After three years, Walmart is leaving TRICARE’s pharmacy network — a departure that pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts Inc. says is a result of the retail giant’s reluctance to offer “more highly competitive discounts” to military health beneficiaries. At the same time, CVS Pharmacy will return to the TRICARE network after a five-year pause. Also, effective Dec. 15, 2021, Sam’s Club will no longer be a part of the TRICARE pharmacy network, and CVS will be included among the list of network retail pharmacies where TRICARE users can fill their prescriptions. There are more than 56,000 pharmacies in the retail TRICARE pharmacy network. For more information on the network go online.  

VA will Start Collecting Over-payment and Medical Co-pays
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is restarting over-payment notices for new debts and debts that were paused during the COVID-19 pandemic from April 6, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2021. Although debt collections and collections on medical copayments restarted on Oct. 1, 2021, VA will not begin to deduct debts from benefits payments until January 2022. Options to request debt relief due to financial hardship will be included in debt notification letters that will be sent to veterans. For more information, read the press statement online.

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