From: James, Cullen CIV NPC, Pers-00R [mailto:cullen.james@navy.mil]
Sent: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 21:21
To: James, Cullen CIV NPC, Pers-00R
Subject: Shift Colors e-mail information

Dear Shift Colors subscriber,
What you have here is a special supplementary e-mail with some recent hot topic news. Below you will find an introductory letter from the SecNav Retiree Council Program Coordinator and a couple of articles pertinent to your interests.

Contents:
1. Welcome Letter
2. TRICARE begins home delivery education initiative3. Direct Deposit: Quicker, Safer, More Cost Effective


1. Welcome Letter:

Navy Retirees,
It is with great pleasure that I am writing to you in this special Shift Colors e-mail.  The SECNAV Retiree Council of 2011 has worked diligently with the Assistant Secretary of the Navy and has gained his support On many issues for our Navy and Marine Corps Retirees.

It looks like we are going to be able to get at least one issue of Shift Colors published this year.  It will have information important to the Navy Retiree and their family.  Look for articles about TRICARE mail order/home delivery program.  This will save you money.  If you cannot get your medications at an MTF, the next cheapest way is through mail order.  You can get three months supply of your routine medications for one month's co-pay.  That is a 66% savings right off the bat!  You can also sign up for automatic refills.  This is a big savings for you; however it is an even bigger savings for the Navy.  The Department of the Navy can save $400 Million-(yes, Million) over the next 5 years if even 30% of Navy retirees alone shift to mail order/home delivery system.  With all the pressures to raise TRICARE premiums, this is the best way for retirees to show the Navy that we are helping keep spending down.  It also gives us the position to continue to argue for not further increases in TRICARE premiums.  The $400 million in savings can also be used to fill the needs of Sailors and material needed to fund overseas war contingencies.

You will also find articles about how DFAS is continuing to provide support to our retirees and their survivors.  We still have 19,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel who get a hard copy check at the cost of $2.2 Million a year.  After the tornados hit the country just a few months ago, several Navy Retirees and/or their surviving spouses did not get their checks, because the mail could not get through to their homes.  Please read their article, and go to their website to update your myPay accounts.

Finally, you will see a link to our new survey, http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KK32K98 . This is a very quick 10 question survey to determine some of the Retiree needs in the above issues.  This will help the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (RA) staff to better prioritize and fight for the needs of the Retirees.  They are working hard along with N135 to publish Shift Colors and meet the other needs of the Retirees. 

We expect the SECNAV Retiree Council 2011 Report to be out and published by the middle of Aug.  Once this happens, look for more updates thru the email.  If you know Navy retirees who have not signed up for Shift Colors online, please encourage them to do so.  This will be the future of communication from the Navy to the Retiree population.  We are also looking at sending out small periodic updates via email and Facebook.  Speaking of, please, if you have not already, join our Facebook page.  Just search Navy and Marine Corps Retirees.  This site is updated frequently straight from the DASNN(RA)'s office.  Remember, we are Navy for Life!

Thank you,

HMCS Brian Conroy
Program Coordinator,
SECNAV Retiree Council
DASN(RA)


2. TRICARE begins home delivery education initiative

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AFRNS) - TRICARE beneficiaries who still get two or more maintenance prescriptions from a retail pharmacy should start checking their mailboxes. TRICARE Management Activity and Express Scripts Inc. are mailing out home delivery education "alert" letters to promote pharmacy home delivery.

The alerts focus on the convenience and lower cost of home delivery versus retail pharmacies, and include information on how to switch prescriptions over. The alerts also seek to alleviate possible concerns about home delivery by highlighting safety measures and 24/7 access to a pharmacist.

The alerts are targeted to TRICARE beneficiaries who purchase two or more maintenance medications for chronic conditions at a retail pharmacy. These beneficiaries stand to benefit most from switching over to home delivery. The education alerts will be mailed starting in July.

 "Providing service members and their families with an affordable, quality prescription drug benefit is a vital part of TRICARE's mission," said TRICARE Deputy Director Rear Adm. Christine Hunter. "When beneficiaries choose home delivery, they are using their benefit wisely."

Switching from retail pharmacy to home delivery spares beneficiaries the inconvenience of picking their prescriptions up from the pharmacy and saves them 66 percent per prescription. Home delivery is also cheaper for TRICARE. Beneficiaries switching from retail to home delivery saved the Department of Defense $30 million in 2010.

TRICARE and ESI are engaged in an aggressive campaign to promote home delivery with great success. Growth in retail pharmacy prescriptions covered by TRICARE is only 3.4 percent in 2011, down from the historical average of 5.2 percent. Home delivery prescriptions have grown 9.8 percent in 2011, almost double the historical 5.8 percent rate.

 "The more TRICARE beneficiaries learn about pharmacy home delivery, the more they take advantage of its benefits," Admiral Hunter said. "The alerts are the next step in spreading the word."

For more information about home delivery, visit www.tricare.mil/homedelivery. To sign up for home delivery beneficiaries should go to ESI's website, www.express-scripts.com/TRICARE or call the TRICARE Member Choice Center at 877-262-3390.
 

3. Direct Deposit: Quicker, Safer, More Cost Effective
CLEVELAND (June 24, 2011) - Having a paycheck electronically deposited into a bank account is the quickest and safest way to be paid. Nevertheless, every month more than 20,000 military retirees paid by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service receive a paper check in the mail. Those same retirees would receive their pay up to a week sooner if they enrolled in direct deposit.

"Direct deposit is the best possible solution for most retirees because it puts their money in their hands almost immediately after their pay is processed," said Tom McKenna, DFAS Retired and Annuitant Pay Director. "It also eliminates the risk of a check being stolen or lost in the mail."

McKenna added that it can take up to six weeks to replace a lost or stolen check.

DFAS spends approximately $2.2 million a year printing and mailing checks to military retirees and Survivor Benefit Plan annuitants. This money could be used elsewhere to support America's service men and women.

"Enrolling in direct deposit frees up money to use in direct support of the uniformed warfighters," said McKenna. "Whether it's for patriotic reasons or practical ones, I encourage all of our members who are receiving paper checks to sign up for direct deposit."

Use myPay to Start Direct Deposit
Starting direct deposit is easy using myPay, the official online account management system for military retirees and annuitants. myPay is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week from anywhere in the world.
1. Have the following information on hand: bank routing number, account number and type of account (checking or savings).
2. Go to https://mypay.dfas.mil and log into your account.
3. Agree to the terms of the User Agreement.
4. On the Main Menu page, click the "Direct Deposit" link.
5. Enter your bank routing number, account number and the account type (checking or savings).
6. Click "Accept/Submit."
7. Confirm that the information you entered is correct before exiting or returning to the Main Menu.

Members who have never used myPay or don't remember their passwords should click "Forgot or Need a Password" to get started.

Direct deposit enrollment and account changes take three to five business days to appear in myPay.

Mail or Fax Direct Deposit Form
Members who are unable to use myPay can submit their requests by mail or fax. However, these changes take approximately 30 days to process. Members should complete an SF 1199A Direct Deposit Enrollment Form (available at www.dfas.mil/dfas/retiredmilitary/forms.html) and mail or fax it to:

DFAS U.S. Military Retired Pay
P.O. Box 7130
London, KY 40742-7130
Fax: 800-469-6559

Direct deposit enrollment and account changes processed before July 20 will be applied to the member's August 1 payment. Changes processed after that date will be applied to a future payment.

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Respectfully,
Cullen

Wm. Cullen James
Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs
901-874-2266

SHIFT COLORS online: http://www.shiftcolors.navy.mil



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