Senator Cantwell,

Yesterday-

TRICARE West has changed contractors again.

Normally I would pay annual fees in Sept. This year- I was only able to pay for the last 3 months of the year while they transitioned to the new provider.

Billing statement recently arrived in the mail. Would love to mail in a check and have all this taken care of. Same way I prefer to pay many other bills.

TRICARE billing statement says- “Checks are not accepted…”

Called Pay by phone 1-844-866-9378 to pay with credit card.

Sorry- system is down & we cannot accept payments.

“There will be a grace period after the first of the year for payments.”

You mean the system might be down for weeks to come?

Yes.

Today-

Called TRICARE again to attempt annual payment using credit card.

After the representative took all credit card info I was told that I must agree to an additional $20.00 fee if phone lines are busy when they attempt to credit my account.

Senator- it is 2017.

We all do business on the phone and on the web.

When we make travel reservations or order on Amazon- we do not pay an extra $20 fee if the order is botched.

Seems like we’ve had enough undeclared/unwon wars now to get this right.

Thank you,

Potential Voter

Update- 2nd call on Friday:

First call today somehow got cut off when I questioned the $20.00 fee.

Talked to a different customer service rep who explained the $20.00 fee in a different way. She said a $20.00 fee would be charged in the case of insufficient funds- a term not normally associated with credit card transactions.

She was very courteous on the phone and explained that no credit card confirmation number could be provided today. The transaction will not actually be run for another 1 to 5 business days.

Still think it would save time for all to have the option of mailing in a check. My auto insurance company is good about this. I can mail a check anytime or drop by their office to pay. They will stop whatever they are doing to process my payment/answer questions, etc. No complaints. Life in 2017- almost 2018.

USMC Okinawa 1980