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Rule

TRICARE Program; Eligibility and Payment Procedures for CHAMPUS Beneficiaries Age 65 and Over

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Office of the Secretary, DoD.

ACTION:

Final rule; correction.

SUMMARY:

This final rule is republished to correct errors originally published. It is to implement section 712 of the Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001. Section 712 extends TRICARE eligibility to persons age 65 and over who would otherwise have lost their TRICARE eligibility due to attainment of entitlement to hospital insurance benefits under Part A of Medicare. This benefit, which has been named TRICARE for Life (TFL), was implemented on October 1, 2001, under an interim final rule published in the Federal Register on August 3, 2001.

DATES:

This rule was effective October 1, 2001.

addresses:

TRICARE Management Activity (TMA), Medical Benefits and Reimbursement Systems, 16401 East Centretech Parkway, Aurora, CO 80011-9043.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Stephen E. Isaacson, Medical Benefits and Reimbursement Systems, TMA, telephone (303) 676-3572.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

For background information on this rule, see the original submission published on April 30, 2003 (68 FR 23030).

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List of Subjects in 32 Part 199

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Accordingly,

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PART 199—[AMENDED]

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1. The authority citation for part 199 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301 and 10 U.S.C. chapter 55.

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2. Section 199.2(b) is amended by revising the definition for

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Definitions.
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(b) * * *

Director, TRICARE Management Activity. This term includes the Director, TRICARE Management Activity, the official sometimes referred to in this part as the Director, Office of CHAMPUS (or OCHAMPUS), or any designee of the Director, TRICARE Management Activity or the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs who is designated for purposes of an action under this part.

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3. Section 199.3 is amended by revising paragraphs (b)(2)(i)(D) (f)(3)(vi), and (f)(3)(vii) and the note following paragraph (f)(3)(vii), to read as follows:

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Eligibility.
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(b) * * *

(2) * * *

(i) * * *

(D) Must not be eligible for Part A of Title XVIII of the Social Security Act (Medicare) except as provided in paragraphs (b)(3), (f)(3)(vii), (f)(3)(viii), and (f)(3)(ix) of this section; and

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(f) * * *

(3) * * *

(vi) Attainment of entitlement to hospital insurance benefits (Part A) under Medicare except as provided in paragraphs (b)(3), (f)(3)(vii), (f)(3)(viii), and (f)(3)(ix) of this section. (This also applies to individuals living outside the United States where Medicare benefits are not available.)

(vii) Attainment of age 65, except for dependents of active duty members, beneficiaries not entitled to part A of Medicare, beneficiaries entitled to Part A of Medicare who have enrolled in Part B of Medicare, and as provided in paragraph (b)(3) of this section. For those who do not retain CHAMPUS, CHAMPUS eligibility is lost at 12:01 a.m. on the first day of the month in which the beneficiary becomes entitled to Medicare.

Note:

If the person is not eligible for Part A of Medicare, he or she must file a Social Security Administration, “Notice of Disallowance” certifying to that fact with the Uniformed Service responsible for the issuance of his or her identification card so a new card showing CHAMPUS eligibility can be issued. Individuals entitled only to supplementary medical insurance (Part B) of Medicare, but not Part A, or Part A through the Premium HI provisions (provided for under the 1972 Amendments to the Social Security Act) retain eligibility under CHAMPUS (refer to § 199.8 for additional information when a double coverage situation is involved).

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4. Section 199.8 is amended by revising paragraphs (c)(6) and (d)(1) to read as follows:

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Double coverage.
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(c) * * *

(6) Lack of payment by double coverage plan. Amounts that have been denied by a double coverage plan simply because a claim was not filed timely or because the beneficiary failed to meet some other requirement of coverage cannot be paid. If a statement from the double coverage plan as to how much that plan would have paid ha the claim met the plan's requirements is provided to the CHAMPUS contractor, the claim can be processed as if the Start Printed Page 32362double coverage plan actually paid the amount shown on the statement. If no such statement is received, no payment from CHAMPUS is authorized.

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(d) Special considerations. (1) CHAMPUS and Medicare.—(i) General rule. In any case in which a beneficiary eligible for both Medicare and CHAMPUS receives medical or dental care for which payment may be made under Medicare and CHAMPUS, Medicare is always the primary payer. For dependents of active duty members, payment will be determined in accordance to paragraph (c) of this section. For all other beneficiaries eligible for Medicare, the amount payable by CHAMPUS shall be the amount of the actual out-of-pocket costs incurred by the beneficiary for that care over the sum of the amount paid for that care under Medicare and the total of all amounts paid or payable by third party payers other than Medicare.

(ii) Payment limit. The total CHAMPUS amount payable for care under paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section may not exceed the total amount that would be paid under CHAMPUS if payment for that care was made solely under CHAMPUS.

(iii) Application of general rule. In applying the general rule under paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section, the first determination will be whether payment may be made under Medicare. For this purpose, Medicare exclusions, conditions, and limitations will be based for the determination.

(A) For items or services or portions or segments of items or services for which payment may be made under Medicare, the CHAMPUS payment will be the amount of the beneficiary's actual out of pocket liability, minus the amount payable by Medicare, also minus amount payable by other third party payers, subject to the limit under paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section.

(B) For items or services or segments of items or services for which no payment may be made under Medicare, the CHAMPUS payment will be the same as it would be for a CHAMPUS eligible retiree, dependent, or survivor beneficiary who is not Medicare eligible.

(iv) Examples of applications of general rule. The following examples are illustrative. They are not all-inclusive.

(A) In the case of a Medicare-eligible beneficiary receiving typical physician office visit services, Medicare payment generally will be made. CHAMPUS payment will be determined consistent with paragraph (d)(1)(iii)(A) of this section.

(B) In the case of a Medicare-eligible beneficiary residing and receiving medical care overseas, Medicare payment generally may not be made. CHAMPUS payment will be determined consistent with paragraph (d)(1)(iii)(B) of this section.

(C) In the case of a Medicare-eligible beneficiary receiving skilled nursing facility services a portion of which is payable by Medicare (such as during the first 100 days) and a portion of which is not payable by Medicare (such as after 100 days), CHAMPUS payment for the first portion will be determined consistent with paragraph (d)(1)(iii)(A) of this section and for the second portion consistent with paragraph (d)(1)(iii)(B) of this section.

(v) Application of catastrophic cap. Only in cases in which CHAMPUS payment is determined consistent with paragraph (d)(1)(iii)(B) of this section, actual beneficiary out of pocket liability remaining after CHAMPUS payments will be counted for purposes of the annual catastrophic loss protection, set forth under Sec. 199.4(f)(10). When a family has met the cap, CHAMPUS will pay allowable amounts for remaining covered services through the end of that fiscal year.

(vi) Effect of enrollment in Medicare+Choice plan. In the case of a beneficiary enrolled in a Medicare+Choice plan who receives items or services for which payment may be made under both the Medicare+Choice plan and CHAMPUS, a claim for the beneficiary's normal out-of-pocket costs under the Medicare+Choice plan may be submitted for CHAMPUS payment. However, consistent with paragraph (c)(4) of this section, out-of-pocket costs do not include costs associated with unauthorized out-of-system care or care otherwise obtained under circumstances that result in a denial or limitation of coverage for care that would have been covered or fully covered had the beneficiary met applicable requirements and procedures. In such cases, the CHAMPUS amount payable is limited to the amount that would have been paid if the beneficiary had received care covered by the Medicare+Choice plan.

(vii) Effect of other double coverage plans, including medigap plans. CHAMPUS is second payer to other third-party payers of health insurance, including Medicare supplemental plans.

(viii) Effect of employer-provided insurance. In the case of individuals with health insurance due to their current employment status, the employer insurance plan shall be first payer, Medicare shall be the second payer, and CHAMPUS shall be the tertiary payer.

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5. Section 199.10 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(1)(ii) to read as follows:

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Appeal and hearing procedures.

(a) * * *

(1) * * *

(ii) Effect of initial determination.

(A) The initial determination is final unless appealed in accordance with this chapter, or unless the initial determination is reopened by the TRICARE Management Activity, the CHAMPUS contractor, or the CHAMPUS peer review organization.

(B) An initial determination involving a CHAMPUS beneficiary entitled to Medicare Part A, who is enrolled in Medicare Part B, may be appealed by the beneficiary or their provider under this section of this Part only when the claimed services or supplies are payable by CHAMPUS and are not payable under Medicare. Both Medicare and CHAMPUS offer an appeal process when a claim for healthcare services or supplies is denied and most healthcare services and supplies are a benefit payable under both Medicare and CHAMPUS. In order to avoid confusion on the part of beneficiaries and providers and to expedite the appeal process, services and supplies denied payment by Medicare will not be considered for coverage by CHAMPUS if the Medicare denial of payment is appealable under Medicare. Because such claims are not considered for payment by CHAMPUS, there can be no CHAMPUS appeal. If, however, a Medicare claim or appeal results in some payment by Medicare, the services and supplies paid by Medicare will be considered for payment by CHAMPUS. In that situation, any decision to deny CHAMPUS payment will be appealable under this section. The following examples of CHAMPUS appealable issues involving Medicare-eligible CHAMPUS beneficiaries are illustrative; they are not all-inclusive.

(1) If Medicare processes a claim for a healthcare service or supply that is a Medicare benefit and the claim is denied by Medicare for a patient-specific reason, the claim is appealable through the Medicare appeal process. The Medicare decision will be final if the claim is denied by Medicare. The claimed services or supplies will not be considered for CHAMPUS payment and there is no CHAMPUS appeal of the CHAMPUS decision denying the claim.

(2) If Medicare processes a claim for a healthcare service or supply that is a Start Printed Page 32363Medicare benefit and the claim is paid, either on initial submission or as a result of a Medicare appeal decision, the claim will be submitted to CHAMPUS for processing as a second payer to Medicare. If CHAMPUS denies payment of the claim, the Medicare-eligible beneficiary or their provider have the same appeal rights as other CHAMPUS beneficiaries and their providers under this section.

(3) If Medicare processes a claim and the claim is denied by Medicare because it is not a healthcare service or supply that is a benefit under Medicare, the claim is submitted to CHAMPUS. CHAMPUS will process the claim under this Part 199 as primary payer (or as secondary payer if another double coverage plan exists). If any part of the claim is denied, the Medicare-eligible beneficiary and their provider will have the same appeal rights as other CHAMPUS beneficiaries and their providers under this section.

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6. Section 199.15 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(6) to read as follows:

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Quality and Utilization Review Peer Review Organization Program.

(a) * * *

(6) Medicare rules used as model. The CHAMPUS Quality and Utilization Review Peer Review Organization program, based on specific statutory authority, follows many of the quality and utilization review requirements and procedures in effect for the Medicare Peer Review Organization program, subject to adaptations appropriate for the CHAMPUS program. In recognition of the similarity of purpose and design between the Medicare and CHAMPUS PRO programs, and to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort, the CHAMPUS Quality and Utilization Review Peer Review Organization program will have special procedures applicable to supplies and services furnished to Medicare-eligible CHAMPUS beneficiaries. These procedures will enable CHAMPUS normally to rely upon Medicare determinations of medical necessity and appropriateness in the processing of CHAMPUS claims as a second payer to Medicare. As a general rule, only in cases involving Medicare-eligible CHAMPUS beneficiaries where Medicare payment for services and supplies is denied for reasons other than medical necessity and appropriateness will the CHAMPUS claim be subject to review for quality of care and appropriate utilization under the CHAMPUS PRO program. TRICARE will continue to perform a medical necessity and appropriateness review for quality of care and appropriate utilization under the CHAMPUS PRO program where required by statute, such as inpatient mental health services in excess of 30 days in any year.

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7. Section 199.17 is amended by revising paragraphs (a) introductory text, (a)(6) introductory text, (a)(6)(i), (a)(6)(ii), (b) introductory text, (b)(1), (c) introductory text, (c)(3), (c)(4), (m)(1)(ii) introductory text, (m)(2)(ii), (m)(3)(ii), and (v) to read as follows:

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TRICARE program.

(a) Establishment. The TRICARE program is established for the purpose of implementing a comprehensive managed health care program for the delivery and financing of health care services in the Military Health System.

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(6) Major features of the TRICARE program. The major features of the TRICARE program, described in this section, include the following:

(i) Comprehensive enrollment system. Under the TRICARE program, all health care beneficiaries become classified into one of four categories:

(A) Active duty members, all of whom are automatically enrolled in TRICARE Prime;

(B) TRICARE Prime enrollees;

(C) TRICARE Standard participants, who are all CHAMPUS eligible beneficiaries who are not enrolled in TRICARE Prime;

(D) Non-CHAMPUS beneficiaries, who are beneficiaries eligible for health care services in military treatment facilities, but not eligible for CHAMPUS;

(ii) Establishment of a triple option benefit. A second major feature of TRICARE is the establishment of three options for receiving health care:

(A) “TRICARE Prime,” which is a health maintenance organization (HMO)-like program. It generally features use of military treatment facilities and substantially reduced out-of-pocket costs for CHAMPUS care. Beneficiaries generally agree to use military treatment facilities and designated civilian provider networks and to follow certain managed care rules and procedures.

(B) “TRICARE Extra,” which is a preferred provider organization (PPO) program. It allows TRICARE Standard beneficiaries to use the TRICARE provider network, including both military facilities and the civilian network, with reduced out-of-pocket costs. These beneficiaries also continue to be eligible for military medical treatment facility care on a space-available basis.

(C) “TRICARE Standard” which is the basic CHAMPUS program. All eligible beneficiaries are automatically included in Standard unless they have enrolled in Prime. It preserves broad freedom of choice of civilian providers, but does not offer reduced out-of-pocket costs. These beneficiaries continue to be eligible to receive care in military medical treatment facilities on a space available basis.

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(b) Triple option benefit in general. Where the TRICARE program is fully implemented, eligible beneficiaries are given the option of enrolling in TRICARE Prime (also referred to as “Prime”) or remaining in TRICARE Standard (also referred to as “Standard”). In the absence of an enrollment in Prime, coverage under Standard is automatic.

(1) Choice voluntary. With the exception of active duty members, the choice of whether to enroll in Prime is voluntary for all eligible beneficiaries. For dependents who are minors, the choice will be exercised by a parent or guardian.

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(c) Eligibility for enrollment. Where the TRICARE program is fully implemented, all CHAMPUS-eligible beneficiaries who are not Medicare eligible on the basis of age are eligible to enroll in Prime or to remain covered under Standard. CHAMPUS beneficiaries who are eligible for Medicare on basis of age (and are enrolled in Medicare Part B) are automatically covered under TRICARE Standard. Further, some rules and procedures are different for dependents of active duty members and retirees, dependents, and survivors. In addition, where the TRICARE program is implemented, a military medical treatment facility commander or other authorized individual may establish priorities, consistent with paragraph (c) of this section, based on availability or other operational requirements, for when and whether to offer enrollment in Prime.

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(3) Retired members, dependents of retired members, and survivors.

(i) Where TRICARE is fully implemented, all CHAMPUS-eligible retired members, dependents of retired members, and survivors who are not eligible for Medicare on the basis of age are eligible to enroll in Prime. After all active duty members are enrolled and availability of enrollment is assured for all active duty dependents wishing to Start Printed Page 32364enroll, this category of beneficiaries will have third priority for enrollment.

(ii) If all eligible retired members, dependents of retired members, and survivors within the area concerned cannot be accepted for enrollment in Prime at the same time, the MTF Commander (or other authorized individual) may allow enrollment within this beneficiary group category on a first come, first served basis.

(4) Coverage under Standard. All CHAMPUS-eligible beneficiaries who do not enroll in Prime will remain in Standard.

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(m) * * *

(1) * * *

(ii) For Standard participants, TRICARE Extra cost sharing applies. The deductible is the same as standard CHAMPUS. Cost shares are as follows:

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(m) * * *

(2) * * *

(ii) For Standard participants, cost sharing is as specified for the basic CHAMPUS program.

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(m) * * *

(3) * * *

(ii) For Standard participants, cost sharing is as provided in military treatment facilities.

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(v) Administrative procedures. The Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs), the Director, TRICARE Management Activity, and MTF Commanders (or other authorized officials) are authorized to establish administrative requirements and procedures, consistent with this section, this part, and other applicable DoD Directives or Instructions, for the implementation and operation of the TRICARE program.

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Dated: May 22, 2003.

L.M. Bynum,

Alternate OSD Federal Register, Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.

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[FR Doc. 03-13397 Filed 5-29-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 5001-08-M