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TRICARE costs tripling?
Old 02-14-2007, 08:06 PM   #1
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TRICARE costs tripling?

The defense budget the Administration submitted to Congress on February 5 significantly upped the ante in the Pentagon's campaign to raise TRICARE fees. It assumes even bigger fee hikes for FY2008 than last year's budget submission assumed for FY2007.

Last year's budget proposed tripling TRICARE Prime and TRICARE Standard fees for retired officers and their family members and survivors over a two-year period, and more than doubling them for most enlisted retirees. It also would have increased retail pharmacy fees for all TRICARE beneficiaries of all ages by almost 70%.

The Administration projected that those fee hikes would save the Pentagon $735 million in FY2007 and $1.86 billion in FY2008, and cut last year's defense health budget by $735 million on the assumption that Congress would accept them.

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Re: TRICARE tripled in cost?
Old 02-14-2007, 09:58 PM   #2
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Re: TRICARE tripled in cost?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyd
The defense budget the Administration submitted to Congress on February 5 significantly upped the ante in the Pentagon's campaign to raise TRICARE fees. It assumes even bigger fee hikes for FY2008 than last year's budget submission assumed for FY2007.
Sorry to hear this on behalf of all my veteran friends. Afraid it's inevitable.

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Re: TRICARE tripled in cost?
Old 02-15-2007, 05:24 AM   #3
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Re: TRICARE tripled in cost?

That is what will happen when the country goes to universal health care. Initially there will be no cost increase, then it will start going up, probably faster than it is now. It has no choice. In order to cover people who can't afford it now the price for those who can has to go up. Since the government will be involved now there is the government bureaucracy to pay as well as the medical expenses.

The military retirees take it again. They slowly lose the benefits they worked for and were promise when they entered the military.
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Re: TRICARE tripled in cost?
Old 02-15-2007, 07:18 AM   #4
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Re: TRICARE tripled in cost?

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Originally Posted by lets-retire
That is what will happen when the country goes to universal health care...
I think that what's happening now.
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Re: TRICARE tripled in cost?
Old 02-15-2007, 08:50 AM   #5
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Re: TRICARE tripled in cost?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyd
The defense budget the Administration submitted to Congress on February 5 significantly upped the ante in the Pentagon's campaign to raise TRICARE fees. It assumes even bigger fee hikes for FY2008 than last year's budget submission assumed for FY2007.

Last year's budget proposed tripling TRICARE Prime and TRICARE Standard fees for retired officers and their family members and survivors over a two-year period, and more than doubling them for most enlisted retirees. It also would have increased retail pharmacy fees for all TRICARE beneficiaries of all ages by almost 70%.

The Administration projected that those fee hikes would save the Pentagon $735 million in FY2007 and $1.86 billion in FY2008, and cut last year's defense health budget by $735 million on the assumption that Congress would accept them.

MOAA has started its campaign with Congress to get this struck from the budget. I guess last year they went in with 40K letters from military members and dumped them on the committee table. Needless to say it is back again this year and MOAA recently had tearouts in their magazine for members to send in again. It will be interesting to see how this turns out with the new Congress. At some point I think a fee increase will occur its just a matter of how much how fast.

I can already hear the discussion in the rank and file military members about this one.

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Re: TRICARE tripled in cost?
Old 02-15-2007, 10:12 AM   #6
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Re: TRICARE tripled in cost?

Gosh, I wonder if Congress is going to knuckle under to the White House's suggestions.

I think doubling the copay and the monthly premiums is inevitable. It'll take a few more years but there'll have to be some sort of inflation adjustment.

To put this into perspective, "doubling" would raise my retiree copay to $24 and my monthly premium to $76.68. As much as I complain about the quality of the administration and some of the care, I'm happy to pay that rate.

So as I said last year, I'm not whining. But if Congress can do this to the military during one of the longest & nastiest wars in quite a while, when recruiting is struggling to keep it together, then imagine what an insurance company can do to civilians.
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Re: TRICARE tripled in cost?
Old 02-15-2007, 10:50 AM   #7
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Re: TRICARE tripled in cost?

IIRC, one of the major issues is cost-shifting from private-sector health care to TRICARE. When military retirees get a job with Megacorp, they agree to forego medical coverage (with Megacorp) in exchange for a higher salary (or other benefit). As the Tricare accountants see it, these folks should be on Megacorp's medical plan. Same thing for spouses of retirees--they use Tricare (as dependents) rather than specifically look for a job with medical benefits.

According to proponents of the increases, they are designed to help push these folks out of the Trcare system and into employer-sponsored plans. Also, of course, the increases are designed to help cover increasing costs for al Tricare beneficiaries.

Much of this is an artifact of our system that links provision of medical care to employers. If we can get away from that, a lot of efficiencies will be introduced into the economy (better competitivenes for US corporations VS foreign companies, better mobility for workers freed from concerns that they can't get insurance, etc).



The cost increases are designed to counter this (according to proponents of the increases)
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