US Family Health Plan

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History of the US Family Health Plan

The US Family Health Plan has a long history of providing health care to the military. In 1981 Congress enacted the Omnibus Reconciliation Act that designated seven former U.S. Public Health facilities as USTFs to provide health care for uniformed services beneficiaries. U.S. Public Health Service Hospital, a military treatment facility on Staten Island, was transferred to Sisters of Charity Healthcare, renamed Bayley Seton Hospital and became a USTF. In 1982, responsibility for overseeing the USTF Program was transferred from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Department of Defense (DoD).

In 1993, USTFs were reorganized by DoD into the Uniformed Services Family Health Plan, the first DoD sponsored full-risk managed health care plan and the first to serve military beneficiaries ages 65 and over. In the same year, Champus, the national military health care program, was reorganized into TRICARE. TRICARE offers three options, including Prime, which is an HMO (managed health care) plan. The Uniformed Services Family Health Plan was designated an authorized TRICARE Prime provider. Following the success of the Plan, Congress made it a permanent part of the military health care system in 1997.

In 2000, Bayley Seton Hospital became part of Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers (SVCMC) as a result of the merger of Sisters of Charity Healthcare of Staten Island, Catholic Medical Centers of Brooklyn and Queens and Saint Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center of New York. Plan members now have access to SVCMC's extensive resources in New York City, as well as to the carefully selected network of physicians, health care practitioners and hospitals throughout the Plan's region who meet high standards of medical practice.