About 26,000 beneficiaries of Tricare are currently facing maxed-out credit cards following a massive billing glitch that hit the health insurance’s East region on Thursday, Dec 5.
In a statement published Friday, The Defense Health Agency, the office that manages the Tricare system, said it was currently working closely with Humana Military, the department that administers Tricare’s East region, to resolve the massive billing glitch that had incorrectly charged beneficiaries with monthly premiums 100 times their usual fees.
“While this is an unfortunate error, I am confident this will be resolved quickly,” said Army Lt. Gen. Ron Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, in the statement. “I am personally in touch with the president of Humana Military, and his team has taken immediate steps to correct this error.”
Launched in 1997, Tricare serves as a health care insurance managed by the United States Department of Defense Military Health System dedicated to providing civilian health benefits for U.S Armed Forces military personnel, military retirees, and their dependents.
The latest glitch was reported to have impacted all users in the East region who pay their monthly enrollment fees using credit or debit cards, especially those who are enrolled in the Tricare Prime, Tricare Reserve Select, Tricare Retired Reserve, and Tricare Young Adult programs.
According to a report from Military.com, the affected beneficiaries were erroneously charged with “over $4,000 to almost $110,000, depending on the set monthly premiums.”
“Immediately, I was bolting up the steps to call Navy Federal,” quoted the news source from Amy Lawrence, a Navy spouse who had her son enrolled in Tricare Young Adult. “I [viewed] the notification and thought, ‘Dear God.'”
“If it had hit his checking or his debit card, they would’ve done the Navy Federal overdraft, like they usually do, and it could’ve wiped out his savings and everything,” she added.
On their website, Humana Military said they would provide customer service hours from 8 am to 6 pm during the weekends to assist the impacted customers.
“We pledge that we will do everything we can to ensure that beneficiaries are not adversely affected by this error, including covering overdraft and related fees,” the department vowed in a post.