Forum held at Camp Lejeune for changes coming for TRICARE beneficiaries

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - For some military members in the east, both past and present, major changes to healthcare are in store.

Ahead of those changes, Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune hosted an open forum where questions and concerns could be addressed.

Since changes to health insurance can be pretty confusing, on Thursday, there was a town hall to discuss the major changes for beneficiaries of TRICARE.

Around 50 people showed up where officials addressed changes coming as a result of regional consolidation.

What was once the north and south region is now the east region, which will impact military members in this community.

Some beneficiaries can expect to see stricter enrollment windows and co-pay increases, but military officials say these changes are not necessarily negative.

"I think that they will find that as they get used to the changes, that it will open up access and more quality of care for them," says Dr. Margaret Reynolds, the center's director of Health Care Business.

"As a beneficiary, we're responsible for knowing what's happening in the healthcare field, so this is a great opportunity," says Raymond Applewhite, a TRICARE beneficiary.

TRICARE began rolling out some of these changes on January 1, 2018, so some people may have already experienced some of the new policies.

Reynolds says TRICARE made these changes because the health agency wanted to align better with some of the policies coming out of Congress.

Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune says if you didn't have a chance to make it out to Thursday's event, they have beneficiary assistance advisers on-site at all times to answer any questions.