New TRICARE fees
New TRICARE Prime enrollment fees for uniformed service retirees and their families go into effect October 1. The Prime enrollment fees are $269.28 for individual retirees (up from $230 in 2011) and $538.56 for retirees and their family members (up from $520 in 2011). Survivors of deceased active duty sponsors and uniformed services medically retired service members and their dependents are exempt from annual fee increases. Their enrollment fee is frozen at the rate in effect when they were classified and enrolled in TRICARE Prime, as long as there is no break in their TRICARE Prime enrollment. There is no enrollment fee for active duty service members and their families. The new fees are based on the cost of living adjustment retirees received this year. Most retirees who were enrolled in TRICARE Prime prior to Oct. 1, 2011 will see a more significant increase since their enrollment fee had been at the 2011 levels of $230 and $460 per year. Beneficiaries can opt to pay their enrollment fee monthly, quarterly or annually. In most cases, enrollment fees are non-refundable. Fees paid monthly or quarterly are recommended. Congress may change fees in the 2013 budget. To learn more about TRICARE Prime enrollment fees, visit www.tricare.mil/costs.
Facebook adds space-available travel
Select passenger terminals across Air Mobility Command are establishing Facebook pages to provide passengers more predictability when it comes to space-available and space-required travel. AMC hopes use of social media will expand knowledge of Space-A travel. Passenger terminals will post historical flight information available on the terminal's answering machine on Facebook, including the number of flights, destinations, number of seats available, number of seats filled and lowest Space-A category reached. Travelers will see their local terminalís tentative flight schedule 72 hours in advance as a screen shot of the terminal's display board. It will show date of departure, roll call/show time, number of seats available and destinations scheduled for the next 72 hours. Questions posted on a Facebook terminal page will be answered by a passenger service agent within 24 hours. To find a passenger terminal's page on Facebook, enter the base name followed by "passenger terminal." All flights are subject to change without notice. For additional information on Space-A travel, call the Andrews terminal at 301-981-3604. For a complete list of AMC passenger terminals with Facebook pages, visit the Space-A website at www.amc.af.mil/amctravel.
A Treasury Department mandate requires use of electronic funds transfer for payments to military, civilian and retired members, effective March 1. For those who have received paper checks from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service in the past, your future payments will be sent by direct deposit to your designated savings or checking accounts. Take steps now to ensure a seamless transition. Itís easy, itís safe and it gives you more control with less stress. About 99 percent of DFAS customers already receive their pay by direct deposit, for immediate access to the money the day a payment is due. It also eliminates the risk of lost or stolen checks, forged signatures and identity theft. Use your myPay account to set up a direct deposit to your checking or savings account. If you do not use myPay, complete a Direct Deposit Authorization form, sign it and mail it to DFAS. Keep a copy for your records. For assistance, call the DFAS Customer Care Center at 888-332-7411.