Proposed agency offers savings

Defense officials have asked Congress to approve a new governance structure for the military health care system that, like higher TRICARE fees, would help to curb what, for a decade, have been runaway medical costs, officials explained. The centerpiece of the plan is to elevate the TRICARE Management Activity to a more powerful Defense Health […]

Budget may raise TRICARE costs

Out-of-pocket health care costs for military retirees and for users of the TRICARE retail pharmacy network would jump next October if Congress approves President Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget request delivered last week. Annual active duty pay raises also would be impacted but not until January 2015 when raise caps would begin and last three years. […]

Cuts to TRICARE Prime proposed

Tom Philpott Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has advised the 12-member Joint Select Committee on Debt Reduction to consider ending access to TRICARE Prime, the military’s popular managed care option, for working-age retirees and their families, to avoid spending cuts that would directly impact readiness. Unless at least seven of 12 super committee members agree on […]

Cuts could impact TRICARE users

Low reimbursements are the top reason physicians say they turn away beneficiaries who use TRICARE Standard, the military’s fee-for-service insurance option, or TRICARE Extra, the preferred provider option, according to TRICARE health care provider surveys. Access to health care for these two groups of beneficiaries could become an even bigger challenge thanks to the convoluted […]

Walgreens leaving Tricare pharmacy program

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Liliana Castillo Just over 89,000 Tricare beneficiaries in New Mexico will be affected by Walgreens leaving the Tricare’s drug network. Walgreens says it will split with Express Scripts, the company that manages Tricare’s pharmacy program by the end of the year. Express Scripts is Tricare’s pharmacy contractor responsible for the Tricare retail pharmacy and pharmacy […]

TRICARE young adult fees costly

Adult children of military members and retirees now can buy TRICARE health insurance coverage out to age 26, and that coverage can be purchased back to Jan. 1 this year. The cost is steep, however, with the premium set at $186 a month for coverage under the fee-for-service TRICARE Standard plan or the preferred provider […]

Military update: Debate heating over TRICARE

Senior Defense officials defended their plan to raise TRICARE Prime fees modestly for working-age retirees last week at a hearing of the House armed services subcommittee on military personnel. Next day, representatives of military associations testified. Five of them, including one who spoke on behalf of 13 other groups too, said they could accept what […]

Budget plans raise TRICARE fees

President Obama’s fiscal 2012 defense budget request brought a few surprises for military retirees. First, the plan to raise TRICARE fees for working age retirees is more “modest” than retiree advocates had expected, and might be viewed favorably in light harsher possibilities and the mounting debt crisis. Surprise two could discourage 103,000 veterans forced by […]

Coverage extension comes at price

This spring, though an exact date is not yet set, TRICARE coverage will be made available to young adult military dependents out to the age 26, and that extra coverage will be available retroactively to Jan. 1 this year. But for this expansion in TRICARE coverage, by as much as three to five years, these […]

Employers barred from offering incentives to use TRICARE

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Civilian employers of military retirees once again can offer a TRICARE supplemental plan with their cafeteria-style health insurance options so that workers who elect to use their TRICARE Standard benefit can buy coverage conveniently and with pre-taxed dollars. The change took effect June 18 under a final rule published by […]