Of Interest to Retirees Using Tricare

I received the following email regarding Tricare in Chiriquí.

As of 1 February 2009, Hospital Chiriquí will no longer be accepting Tricare as payment for services rendered from military retirees and their families. Tricare has restricted the payments for services for
the Panama area, due to continuous overcharging in this area (actually by this hospital), and this hospital will not accept the fee rates applied by Tricare for this area. This is the same thing happening at Hospital Nacional in Panama City.

After talking to Javier Adames at Hospital Mae Lewis, here is their status: They have sent Tricare a letter, and are expecting an answer soon. Once this answer is received, they will have a meeting with
their doctors and decide if they will be accepting Tricare as payment for services, or not. He further stated that if the doctors vote “No” to accepting Tricare payments, other services at the hospital MAY still be accepting Tricare for services (ie. Lab, X-Ray, Hospitalization, etc). More to follow on this when Mr Adames gets back to me.

This means that we may end up paying for any/all services at the hospitals, and submitting to Tricare for reimbursement. For those who are living on military retirement only, or even with minimum SSA
income, this could become a problem.

If you want to talk more about this off of the group, feel free to email me at wapagel@yahoo.com , or call me at 775-9091/6682-1650.

It may be beneficial if all of the military retirees contact Mr Javier Adames at Hospital Mae Lewis, and let him know your concerns. It can only help, not hurt, the situation. Thanks.

Bill Pagel

4 thoughts on “Of Interest to Retirees Using Tricare

  1. There has been too much fraud committed by individuals using retired military members personal information. Finally Tri-care (Champ-VA) has buckeled down and realized this. Identitiy theft is not very well prevented in 3rd world countries like Panama.

  2. I worry a lot that something similar to your local situation will happen in our Medicare – Medicaid insurance. We have Etna with Medicare and so far that does a good job paying bills but leaves us with a small co-pay – $250.00 per hospital stay/visit. $25.00 per doctor visit. I was in the hospital twice in December for 7 days each time for a left lung collapse and we had to pay the $250.00 both times and then each time we saw a doctor outside of the hospital we had to pay the $25.00. Doctor visits in the hospital is covered. At my age (soon to be 75) and my wife (soon to be 73) hospital and doctor bills are a big part of living. Everything else has gone up too. So if the hospitals stopped taking our form of payment we would be up the creek without a paddle.

  3. I hope that, with inflation, etc., the Drs & Hospitals here do not take advantage of people being covered with Insurance and start comparing costs with the US and here. I think, in the longrun, it is best to pay up front and then submit to your insurance. Zip your pockets as reflections of the US will, and are, in force. We are looking into many problems, all of us, especially those with low income that moved to Panama to escape the horrendous costs in the US and, if it happens here, we will be looking for another place to live.

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