[HEALTH.MIL] DoD Budget Plan Takes Aim at TRICARE

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  • To: <HEALTH.MIL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <TFL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2014 00:14:22 -0600

DoD Budget Plan Takes Aim at TRICARE

February 27, 2014 | Terry Howell


The proposed 2015 DoD budget could kill TRICARE Prime and increase out-of-pocket
medical expenses for dependents and retirees.


Much of the first reports on the proposed 2015 defense budget didn't necessarily
focus on the details or specific areas to be cut. Many of details won't be
available until March 4th. However, there are some details available on one of
the most significant benefits areas to be hit - TRICARE.


TRICARE, originally named for its three levels of health care coverage (Prime
<http://www.military.com/benefits/tricare/prime/tricare-prime-overview.html> ,
<http://www.military.com/benefits/tricare/extra/tricare-extra-overview.html> ,
and Standard
l> ), has been providing affordable healthcare coverage for military dependents
and retirees for nearly 20 years. But, according to columnist Ton Philpott's
recent Military Update
avings-cap-bah.html> , the DoD is proposing to merge the three options into a
single fee-for-service insurance option, similar to the current Standard option.


The proposed changes to TRICARE would not affect active-duty servicemembers
access to free healthcare, but their dependents and working-age military
retirees would face higher costs to include a share of medical expenses and
perhaps a new annual enrollment fee, set initially at $285 for individuals and
$569 for families.


Beneficiaries could see lower costs if they use military treatment facilities or
"preferred" care providers who offer military discounts. However, the plans
include charging retirees a new co-pays for using  on-base treatment facilities.
New co-pays also would be set for military families and retirees who use
emergency rooms inappropriately for routine care.


Philpott reports that TRICARE Prime would likely end as defense health officials
continue to argue that Prime is too costly to operate for the military.


According to Philpott, beneficiaries 65 and older would continue to have access
to TRICARE for Life, but, they would face a new enrollment fee. It might be set
at one percent of military retired pay but capped so as not to exceed $300 a


On the upside, many believe that most of the DoD's proposed benefit cuts are not
likely to get passed Congress.  The question is, which ones will?


Stay tuned as more details will be available March 4 when the budget is formally


For more details on Pay Caps,
avings-cap-bah.html>  Commisary Cuts and BAH Reductions, read Tom Philpott's
full article.

Read related article at



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SOURCE:  Military.com article at




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