The families who are covered by TRICARE have reported worse access to healthcare than those with private plans and even people who are uninsured.
A research team led by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) analyzed nearly 85,000 children to see how the different coverage groups rated their access to care and the overall quality of care they get. In the study, only 34% of TRICARE enrollees described their care as “accessible,” while 51% went to private coverage and 37% toward the uninsured.
Then to worsen the blow for TRICARE, 47% of enrollees described their care as responsive, whereas the commercially insured were at 52% and almost 51% for the uninsured. However, what makes TRICARE look even more poor to its counterparts is the acceptance rate by physicians:
-Private Plans: 95%
Private plans are obviously the favored choice of care by users and physicians alike. The results also slumped for those who have special healthcare needs (which is very common with those who use TRICARE).
Roopa Seshadri, M.D., a research scientist at CHOP’s PolicyLab and the study’s lead author, said, “These families may struggle to access needed specialty or behavioral healthcare services to meet those needs.”
The study was also done in part for the military to realize their personnel needs through better insurance procedures.
“The researchers hope that the findings lead to additional consideration about how the military could most effectively ensure families that need it to have access to pediatric care and other specialty services.”
Findings like these should also advise the Department of Defense to recognize more why a provider would choose not to accept TRICARE coverage, and adjust policy to ease those barriers and enhance access.
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