Active duty personnel and families in California to receive integrated health delivery system


Hannah Saunders


The Department of Defense (DoD) has selected TriWest Healthcare Alliance to provide managed care support to the DoD Defense Health Agency TRICARE program in the West region. This includes California, where Blue Shield of California will provide coverage of various healthcare services for military members and their families.


TRICARE is the uniformed services healthcare program for active-duty members and their families, National Guard and Reserve members and their families, retirees and their families, survivors, and certain former spouses.



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TriWest will administer the new TRICARE program, also known as “T-5,” in its 26 West region territories. West region territories include Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawai’i, Idaho, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington, among others.


In California, the T-5 contract will allow active duty service members and their families to gain access to Blue Shield of California’s network of providers. The health plan is already accessible to over 800,000 eligible veterans in California under a contract TriWest Healthcare Alliance has with the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to Blue Shield of California. 


“The total potential contract value, including all transition and options periods, is estimated at $65,140,149,682,” read the DoD announcement. “The contractor will assist the Defense Health Agency in operating an integrated health care delivery system combining the resources of the contractor and the military’s direct medical care system to provide health, medical and administrative support services to eligible members of the uniformed services, retirees and their eligible family members.” 


With the new announcement, Blue Shield of California will be able to assist active duty members and their families during time of service beginning in 2024. As members transition to Veterans Affairs benefits, they will use the same local provider network offered by Blue Shield. 


“We are honored to be part of the TriWest Healthcare Alliance team that is focused on this critical work to support military members and families who have sacrificed so much for our nation,” said Paul Markovich, President and CEO of Blue Shield of California. “Our company’s mission is to ensure all Californians have access to high-quality health care at an affordable price. Serving 1.8 million eligible active-duty military, veterans, and their families in communities across the state, through our collaboration with TriWest, is an important part of achieving our mission.” 


Under T-5, TriWest Healthcare Alliance will perform various tasks including claims processing, management of enrollment, support finding healthcare services, referral services, customer service, medical management, and clinical quality. The contract is designed to supplement existing Military Treatment Facility resources with contracted networks of US healthcare providers to achieve an integrated healthcare delivery system, according to TriWest Healthcare Alliance. 


“At TriWest, it has been our privilege to serve the healthcare needs of the Veteran and military communities for nearly three decades. We are humbled to have the opportunity through this contract to work alongside both the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs, with Blue Shield of California by our side.”