[HEALTH.MIL] Some TRICARE Enrollees Will Save Money In 2012

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  • Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2011 11:41:37 -0600

Some TRICARE Enrollees Will Save Money In 2012
By Kellie Lunney klunney@xxxxxxxxxxx
November 23, 2011  

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The health care premiums for young adult dependents of service members and
retirees enrolled in TRICARE will decrease slightly in 2012. 

Monthly premiums for TRICARE dependents younger than 26 will be $10 to $12 less
next year than they are now, according to a Defense Department notice published
in Wednesday's Federal Register. The rate for young adults under TRICARE
Standard will be $176 per month in 2012, down from the 2011 rate of $186. The
monthly premiums for TRICARE Prime will be $201 next year, down from the current
cost of $213. The new rates take effect in January 2012. 

The fiscal 2011 Defense Authorization Act extended TRICARE coverage for
unmarried dependents of service members and retirees until age 26. Previously,
children were eligible for TRICARE until age 21, or 23 if they were full-time
students. The program allows those who are eligible and don't have their own
employer-based insurance the option of buying month-to-month coverage until age

TRICARE adjusts the young adult premiums annually based on actual TRICARE costs.
According to Defense, until the young adult claims are of an actuarially
appropriate size, TRICARE young adult premiums will continue to be calculated on
actual costs of similarly aged TRICARE eligible dependents. Costs were less for
that group, so the 2012 rates are lower than the current ones.

The lower premium rates for young adults will be welcome news to TRICARE
enrollees who are concerned about changes to the military's popular health care
system. Military retirees who enrolled in TRICARE in fiscal 2012 saw their
annual fees jump slightly Oct. 1. New beneficiaries in TRICARE Prime now pay an
additional $2.50 per month for individual members and $5 per month for family
enrollment -- bringing the total annual fee to $260 and $520, respectively.
Costs for retirees already in the program, as well as survivors of active-duty
service members and medically retired participants, remain at $230 per year for
individuals and $460 per year for families. 

Increasing health care premiums for military retirees has long been a
politically sensitive subject, with lawmakers and military advocates wary of
appearing ungrateful for the sacrifices of service members. Participant fees
under TRICARE were set in 1995 and have remained at $460 per year for the basic
family plan. The cost for comparable coverage for federal workers is between
$5,000 and $6,000 annually.

SOURCE:  Government Executive News Article at

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