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VA Phone Apps The VA has 31 mo- bile apps to help you stay healthy and happy. Some new apps include: • My VA Health • Ask a Pharmacist • MOVE!® Coach • Stay Quit Coach • Mindfulness • PTSD Coach Learn more or download the apps at https://mobile .va.gov/appstore.


According to a senior defense official, the new contracts will:  make it easier to enroll;  improve communication between mili- tary and private-sector providers to record all appointment information in the pa- tient’s electronic health record;  provide greater flexibility to adopt new innovations;  place more emphasis on customer satisfaction;  decrease wait times for specialty ap- pointments; and  provide improved case management for special-needs families. An official said the transition plan entails


a test-drive period before the changeover occurs and beneficiaries will be kept ap- prised of progress.


Contract Awards


Cause Protests Insurance contractors are not going without a fight.


H


ealth insurance contractors already have filed formal protests against DoD’s contract awards deci-


sions for TRICARE’s East and West regions. UnitedHealthcare, the current managed- care support contractor for TRICARE in the West region, was the first to challenge the contract award in both regions. Health Net Federal Services (the current TRICARE East incumbent) and WellPoint Military Care (a division of large insurer Anthem and a newcomer to TRICARE) joined in ob- jecting to the contract awards a week later. Surprisingly, Health Net (the West


region winner) filed a protest for not win- ning the East region, thereby challeng- ing Humana, because Health Net would prefer to have the $41 billion East region than the $18 billion West region.


34 MILITARY OFFICER OCTOBER 2016


The Government Accountability Office has 100 days from the date of the protest filing to investigate and adjudicate the filed appeals and then deny the protest or sustain it and issue corrective actions for DoD. Corrective actions might include reopen- ing the contract competition, which hap- pened during the 2012 TRICARE contracts, when all three regional contracts were protested successfully and subsequently awarded to a different bidder in a lengthy and costly process for the government. MOAA will announce any developments.


Absentee A


Voting Myths Get the facts before November.


bsentee voting for service- members and their families tends to become an issue in every


election cycle. If you plan to submit an absentee ballot for this upcoming election, make sure you know the facts. Myth: States all have the same election rules and deadlines for military and over- seas voters. Reality: False. States have different rules


about how and when the forms are re- turned. Visit www.moaa.org/absenteevot ing for your state-specific guidelines. Myth: Absentee ballots only count in close elections. Reality: False. Absentee ballots sub- mitted in accordance with state laws are counted for every election. The difference is in a close election, the media reports the outcome cannot be announced until after the absentee ballots are counted. How- ever, all ballots are counted in the final totals for every election — and every vote (absentee or in-person) counts the same. Myth: Military spouses and dependents cannot use military absentee voting forms.


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