Tricare Expands 3D Mammograms Benefit
Tricare is now offering 3D mammograms to eligible patients as a preventive health care service when screening for breast cancer—the most diagnosed cancer in women after skin cancers. The new benefit was available beginning Jan. 1. Previously, Tricare only covered 3D mammograms for diagnostic purposes. This means a doctor could order them for at-risk patients or for further diagnosis. For regular breast cancer screening, Tricare previously covered 2D mammograms, according to information from Tricare. A 3D mammogram uses an X-ray machine to create a 3D image of the breast, resulting in greater accuracy when detecting abnormalities, according to Tricare. It also decreases false positives, which means a smaller chance of having to return for a second screening or unnecessary biopsies. The new 3D mammogram benefit is available through Tricare's provisional coverage program, which means it requires pre-authorization. The benefit is covered for certain patients until Dec. 31, 2024. According to Tricare, it will decide before then if the new service will be permanently covered. Eligible beneficiaries for this new benefit include women who are at least 40 years old and women 30 and older who have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Additional information on Tricare's mammogram coverage is available here.