Toll-Free Crisis Hot Line Information
The Veterans Administration and the U.S. Military have a Toll-Free Crisis Hot Line which provides free and confidential support available 24/7 for all veterans, service members, National Guard and reserves, as well as family members and friends.
Help is available by PHONE, TEXT, CHAT ONLINE, as well as support for the deaf and hearing impaired. Keywords to online access: VA Crisis Line/Military Crisis Line/Tricare Crisis Line.
The main USA toll-free number: 1-800-273-8255
In Europe: Call 00800 1273 8255 or DSN 118
In Korea: Call 0808 555 118 or DSN 118
In Afghanistan: Call 00 1 800 273 8255 or DSN 111
The Foreign Medical Program (FMP) is a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care benefits program for U.S. Veterans with VA-rated service-connected disabilities who are residing or traveling abroad. Under FMP, VA assumes payment responsibility for certain health care services necessary for treatment of a service-connected disability or any disability associated with and held to be aggravating a service-connected disability. Supporting medical documentation is always required. The two basic steps follow:
- Veterans must first enroll/register for the FMP. This can be accomplished online by filing a registration PDF Form: VA Form 10-7959-1 (VA Form Mar 2016) Registration Form.
- Veterans once enrolled and declared eligible may submit claims by submitting VA Form 10-7959-2 (VA Form 2016) Claim Cover Sheet which explains what information must accompany your claim.
Explanation: The VA VHA Office of Community Care (VHA CC) in Denver, Colorado administers FMP. VHA CC is responsible for all aspects of the program including the Veterans’ registration process, verification of eligibility, authorization of benefits, and the processing and payment of claims. All FMP claims and inquiries should be submitted directly to VHA CC. The Claim Cover Sheet explains what information must accompany your claim. One has two (2) years to file. It is suggested that providers prepare bills in English to save processing time. If that is not possible, translations into English if needed are done by the FMP but will delay payment of claims.
Further information which may be useful:
FMP 24-hour phone contact: 1-877-345-8179.
FMP Email: email@example.com
FMP website: http://www.va.gov/purchasedcare/program/veterans/fmp/
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255
General Information: www.va.gov/healthbenefits
Note: Veterans who do not already have a disability rating must visit their VARO (VA Regional Office) which is responsible for establishing service-connected disabilities. For locations, see below.
Following are some bits of info that may be of interest (in no particular order):
- Democratic Senators as well as the American Legion, VFW, and other military organizations sent letters to Sec. of Treasury and Sec. of VA urging them to NOT require tax returns or a "blank" form for receipt of stimulus checks from CARES Act.
- Dem Rep Deb Haaland, NM and Rep Rep Doug Lamborn, CO have teamed across the Isle to advocate for financial relief for military families caught in Stop Order of 11 March. Currently regs allow $1500 for incidental expenses incurred while moving, but because of the Stop Order many families are caught in between e.g. with HHG already left and owners left behind requiring them to buy/rent new stuff.
- VA will now allow extensions of 60/30 day time limits for submission of claims/appeals by allowing late claims along with a request for extension without requiring advance approval. Also, typed and digital signatures will be accepted. Also, for vets who have pending appeals and COVID-19, the Board of VA Appeals will advance those cases on the docket.
- Camp Casey in Korea now has some cases of COVID-19. It may be that vets in that area can receive testing/treatment there, but perhaps like Landstuhl in Germany, that may be limited to active duty only.
- BDD (Benefits Delivery at Discharge). For those overseas, this process may be started/completed in-country but member must have time to complete medical exam/s. Germany=BDD office in Landstuhl. Korea=BDD office in Camp Humphreys.
- Dems pushing across the board for Vote by Mail! Trump and his minions are against it (for obvious reasons but claiming fraud). The military has been voting by mail for decades with zero complaints or evidence of fraud, waste, or abuse! Another obvious case of Trump vs Logic!
Before getting into the specifics of experiences some background information is necessary. As an overseas utilizer of Tricare I am required to process all claims and other correspondence through a Wisconsin based insurance company (WPS), of Madison Wisconsin. Addresses for their various services are provided in enclosures. The various items of background information are included in the following paragraphs.
Prior to my complete retirement from federal service, and while I was still a government employee, military retirees were authorized to utilize military medical facilities of their location on a standby basis. This was by a command decision at that time. I did utilize the military medical facilities during that time frame for eye cataract surgery, a colon examination, and a couple of other procedures I'm unable to recall. I did however, have to register with the local military medical facility to be eligible for these services. This availability may exist at other overseas military installations and I would suggest for those retirees living overseas near a military installation to check with that installation and find out if these services are available for them. To the best of my knowledge these services are still available in Korea.
On various occasions I have been notified by the folks at Tricare International SOS (SOS) that a primary insurer is required. For folks living in the US that would be MEDICARE. However, living overseas and being unable to utilize their MEDICARE benefits another insurer is needed. Below you will see an example of the forms that Tricare asks for to verify your primary insurer.
Click on the sample to be taken to the actual form on the Tricare site.
On other various occasions I have received from WPS and Tricare SOS, requests for clarification of various medical procedures and other items necessary to process a claim. Below you will see a sample of their request to me and the paperwork I have submitted to fulfill this requirement.
(To protect the privacy of the individuals involved, names and details have been anonymized.)
I have also received various on how to file claims, and other necessary procedures that need to be followed. Click on the sample to be taken to the actual page on the Tricare site.
And lastly, I have received specific Tricare contact information, (mail addresses and phone numbers) a sample of which is also below. Please CLICK on the picture to get the most updated information directly from Tricare.
Now to get to the actual Tricare experiences. I file two types of claims using the same form - outpatient and inpatient. See below.
One additional note is necessary. Upon visiting the Tricare representative at my closest military installation some time ago, I was informed that what is called a "Medical Receipt" should be included with all claims. If there are any military retirees or other Tricare veterans who have access to a military base, they should check to see if there is a Tricare representative located there. They will be located at the medical facility on the base and if you need assistance filing your claim, they can be very helpful.
Gene Gerth in Korea, Retired Military Vet
Before entering into the specifics of my Tricare experiences, some background information is necessary. As an overseas Tricare user, I am required to process all claims and other correspondence through Wisconsin based insurance (WPS), in Madison, Wisconsin.
Use of Military Medical Facilities
Prior to my complete retirement and while I was still a government employee, military retirees were authorized to use military medical facilities at their location on a standby basis. This was a command decision at that time. I did use the military medical facilities during that timeframe for eye cataract surgery, a colon examination and a couple of other procedures. I did however, have to register with the local military medical facility to be eligible for these services. This availability may exist at other overseas military installations and I would suggest for those retirees living overseas near a military installation to check with that installation and find out if these services are available for them. To the best of my knowledge these services are still available in Korea.
The first and most ordinary claim is concerned with outpatient coverage. Upon visiting the Tricare representative at my closest military installation, I was informed that what is called a Medical Receipt should be included with all claims. If there are any military retirees or other Tricare veterans who have access to a military base, they should check to see if there is a Tricare representative located there. They will be located at the medical facility on the base and if you need assistance filing your claim, they can be very helpful.
To File a Tricare Outpatient Reimbursement Claim
Click on this link: Tricare Claim
If this doesn’t work, you might have to log on via the MilConnect with your CAC and then navigate to the Tricare site: MilConnect Website
When submitting a claim, use DD Form 2642. At the bottom of the form, handwrite "Patient paid in full" in big letters. In block 8a -- "Describe Illness, Injury, blah blah..." You can put: "See attached sheet", then type a separate, brief description of what the problem was.
Then scan the DD Form 2646 with the physician's receipt and illness description and combine all these into a single PDF, then upload them to the Tricare claims site.
To make it very easy, you may also arrange to have all reimbursements deposited directly to your bank. You can do this on the Tricare site.
For more information, you can check this link: Tricare Medical Claims