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News > What Is A "Yellow Card" and what does it mean to me?
What Is A "Yellow Card" and what does it mean to me?

Posted 10/11/2011   Updated 10/12/2011 Email story   Print story


by Bill Stoops
628th Medical Group

10/11/2011 - JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- So, you have come to the 628th Medical Group to see a provider or to drop off and pick up a prescription. When you check in, you are asked to present your "yellow card". What makes this little piece of brightly colored cardstock so important that everyone wants to see it?

Commonly mistaken as the "authorization to pick up medications" card, the yellow card is used to show that non-active duty patients have completed the annual requirement of filling out the Department of Defense Form 2569, Third Party Collection Program form.

The Third Party Collection Program was legislated by Congress in 1986. It obligates DoD Military Treatment Facilities to bill private health insurance carriers such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Mail Handlers, Aetna, etc., for the cost of medical care furnished to retirees and family members covered by their own health insurance policies. This includes all medical benefits such as inpatient care, outpatient care and ancillary services such as pharmacy items.

Private health insurance policies are billed, that is why we use the term third party. MTFs can only collect for services covered by your third party health insurance plan according to your benefits with the plan. By law, your insurance policy rates cannot go up or be cancelled just because a claim is filed. Health insurance is not like automobile insurance; your rates will not go up when you file a claim.

The yellow Other Health Insurance card has been our way of easily ensuring that the DD Form 2569 has been completed without the inconvenience of having you, our patients, fill out a new form each time a visit is made within the facility. The form is filled out once a year or more often if you have an inpatient stay, any ambulatory procedure visit (outpatient surgery) or a change in insurance status. Per DoD Instruction 6010.15m, Chapter 4, all non-active duty beneficiaries are required to fill out a DD Form 2569, whether or not they have other health insurance.

Healthcare is expensive and costs are continuously rising. The law requires all MTFs to recover some of these costs if you are covered by a civilian insurance company. We understand that healthcare is an earned service benefit. Billing your private insurance carrier will help us offset the cost of care and allow for improvements to the quality of care you receive at the MTF. The money collected will go towards medical equipment, supplies and facility upgrades. Since 2009, we have collected more than $2.1M to help with these costs for our medical facility.

The TPC program only works if we have current and accurate information for other health insurance policies you carry. When you visit your military treatment facility, you will be asked to provide other health insurance information. Please help us help you by filling in the requested information. Our aim is to provide you and your family with quality healthcare service. Your active role in assisting us by identifying your other health insurance policies directly contributes to us providing you with quality healthcare.
If you would like more information regarding the TPC program, see your MTF TPC representative or call our toll-free OHI hotline at 1-800-355-3785, Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (CST).

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