TRICARE screenings save lives

  • Published
  • By Shari Lopatin
  • TriWest Healthcare Alliance
While January is a great time to plan for your health in 2010, it is never the wrong time to get vital screening tests. Whether male or female, age 25 or 65, it is important to talk with a doctor about the screening tests listed below. These services are available for eligible family members at no cost. There will be no authorizations, cost-shares, copayments or deductibles for eligible TRICARE beneficiaries. These tests save lives.

For women
-Breast cancer: TRICARE covers one mammogram every 12 months for women older than 39. If a woman is considered high-risk for breast cancer, she can begin receiving mammograms at 35 years old.

-Cervical cancer: Test for cervical cancer by getting regular Pap smear tests. TRICARE covers both pelvic exams and Pap tests together when necessary, or every year beginning at age 18. Once a woman has three consecutive normal Pap tests, TRICARE will cover screenings once every three years unless a doctor recommends otherwise.

For men
· Prostate Cancer: TRICARE covers prostate screenings tests for men who are:
o older than 50
o older than 40 and had a vasectomy
o ages 40-49 with a family history of prostate cancer.

For everyone
-Colon Cancer: Several screening options are available, such as the fecal occult blood test, sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy. People who have a history of colon cancer in their family should talk with their doctor about when and how often to have screening tests.

-Cholesterol: Know the numbers! TRICARE covers a cholesterol test once every five years, starting at 18 years old, unless it's medically necessary for more frequent screenings.

Remember when obtaining these services from a TRICARE-authorized provider, people are not personally responsible for any portion of the cost, even if you have not met your deductible.

For additional information, visit the prevention page at