[HEALTH.MIL] New Health Care Premiums for TRICARE Retired Reserve (TRR) Take Effect

  • From: HEALTH.MIL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
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  • Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2015 18:47:14 -0600

New Health Care Premiums for Certain Retired Reservists Take Effect

*       By  <http://www.govexec.com/voices/kellie-lunney/2348/> Kellie Lunney 
*       January 5, 2015
tired-reservists-take-effect/102198/?oref=govexec_today_nl#disqus_thread> Leave
a comment

The Defense Department put the finishing touches on a four-year-old program that
provides health care coverage to retired reservists, just before the 2015
premium rates took effect on Jan. 1.

Defense published its
final rule on TRICARE Retired Reserve on Dec. 31, though the program has been
available to eligible reservists and their family members since late 2010 after
Congress created the health insurance option in the fiscal 2010 National Defense
Authorization Act. The final rule, which takes effect on Jan. 30, was mostly a
formality, but it did address an issue that has concerned some since the plan
took effect: the  <http://www.tricare.mil/Costs/HealthPlanCosts/TRR.aspx> cost
of premiums.

Of the 92 comments submitted on the rule, 76 commenters complained that the
premium rates were too high. "We recognize that the premiums were much higher
than many expected," the Defense Department wrote in the final rule. "In
fulfillment of law, TRR premiums represent the full cost of delivering the
benefit without the Department of Defense absorbing any of the cost. In other
words, the department cannot cover or share any of the cost of the premiums by
law; TRR members pay full-cost premiums."

The 2015 monthly premiums are $390.89 for self-only coverage and $961.35 for
family coverage. That's about the same as the 2014 monthly rates, which were
$390.99 and $956.65, respectively. The annual rates have fluctuated since
TRICARE Retired Reserve took effect. For example, the 2012 monthly premiums were
$419.72 for members-only and $1,024.43 for family coverage.

"We endeavored to be very open and transparent with the detailed information
that we provided in the late preamble of the interim final rule about the
establishment of the TRR premiums," the final rule stated. "Nonetheless, we
would be glad to participate in a congressionally-directed request or a request
under proper and applicable authority as appropriate to study the actuarial
approach used to establish the TRR premium rates."

TRICARE Retired Reserve allows members of the retired reserve eligible for
non-regular retirement and younger than 60 years of age, as well as certain
family members and survivors, to buy health insurance equivalent to TRICARE
Standard and Extra, unless they are eligible for a health benefits plan under
Chapter 89 of Title 5 in the U.S. Code. That would include the Federal Employees
Health Benefits Program.

(Image via  <http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-81541p1.html> Christian Delbert
/ Shutterstock.com)


SOURCE:  GovExec News Release at



For more information on this subject, please visit TRICARE Retired Reserve Costs
at http://www.tricare.mil/Costs/HealthPlanCosts/TRR.aspx




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