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Chiefs Take Tricare Fee Flak
Old 03-09-2012, 02:04 PM   #1
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Chiefs Take Tricare Fee Flak

Tricare fee structure come under the Congressional microscope. If you are retired military (or will be someday) you may also find this interesting.

Sorry that I can not give a link or URL as this was from an email that I received from MOAA.

Personnel Chiefs Take Fee Flak
On March 6, Service personnel chiefs testifying at a hearing before the House Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee ended up getting an earful from legislators about the Pentagon's proposed plan to impose dramatic TRICARE fee increases on military retirees.
Chairman Joe Wilson (R-SC) questioned both the level of fee increases and the "tiered" fee method that would means-test fees based on retired pay level. "I'm concerned. It seems that (budget) reductions only apply to military personnel," Wilson said. "Commitments have been made to our military in terms of health care benefits. Over 5 years [TRICARE Prime] enrollment fees will increase 94% and 345%. I’m just concerned about the fairness of this."
Congressman (Dr.) Joe Heck (R-NV), an Army Reserve physician who practiced medicine in the military for over 21 years, took exception to the witnesses' statements that the Pentagon needs to do this to control health care costs. "You're cost shifting. It does nothing to control costs by shifting the burden to those we are suppose to be taking care of," Heck asserted.
The discussion turned to the Administration's proposal to establish a BRAC-like commission to review the current retirement system.
Dr. Heck expressed his appreciation to panelists for recognizing the negative impact of even suggesting retirement changes with the currently serving troops, but followed rhetorically with stating, "Why anybody would ever say were going to put together a BRAC-like commission to look at military retirement is beyond me when BRAC is not a term that's well-embraced."
The witnesses reiterated that the military needs to "share the burden" and be "part of the solution" to meet the nation's fiscal responsibility.
Congressman Austin Scott (R-GA) retorted, "I hear 'share the burden' over and over. The bottom line is the military, and those that serve in the military, and those that support those that serve in the military and their families…are taking it on the chin."

MOAA couldn't agree more. A statement offered by MOAA and the Military Coalition at the hearing highlighted a variety of priorities, including:
  • Protecting against drawing down force levels faster than wartime missions are reduced
  • Sustaining the link between military pay raises and private sector pay growth
  • Resisting proposals to short-circuit the normal legislative process by "fast-tracking" proposals to impose radical reforms on military retirement
  • Protecting funding for commissaries, exchanges, and dependent schools
  • The need for further progress to ease retirement/compensation inequities imposed on disabled retirees, Guard/Reserve personnel, and military survivors
  • Needed protections for wounded warriors, families and caregivers

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Old 03-09-2012, 02:23 PM   #2
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Goes to show you can't trust em. While I'm not against increasing fees, they must be less than the 345%!!!

One thing I tell my friends is that the cost of health care has and will continue going up. If your not going to pay for it, who will? The other option is that you don't get the care you want/need.

I'm glad I don't have to figure out the solution, but when the courts required the state of California to provide an inmate with a heart transplant, something has got to change. If I remember correctly, the inmate was in the appeal process of a death sentence.

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Old 03-09-2012, 05:31 PM   #3
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I'm sticking with Tricare Standard until I'm Medicare eligible. I'm in reasonably good health, and will deal with the deductible if the situation arises. I've been lucky for 14 years, and have 6 to go. I have no dependents, and would think differently if I had others in need of insurance. But I don't.
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:29 PM   #4
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Can you put 345% in perspective? That could be a $5 annual increase for all we (non-military types) know.

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Old 03-09-2012, 10:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Can you put 345% in perspective? That could be a $5 annual increase for all we (non-military types) know.

I don't have Tricare Prime, but last I checked it was $230 a year for a single retiree. So it would be around $793.50 if my math is correct. Or an increase of $563.50 a year. Married folks, and children would obviously be more.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:10 PM   #6
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Yep, my rates for Tricare Prime and when I turn 65 for Tricare For Life are going up. We were paying $460 a year for Prime and I think I saw that it will more than double and when I turn 65 and switch to Tricare For Life it will cost us even more. Most of my retired military friends are VERY excited about this. We were told we would get free healthcare for life. I tell them that the world has changed an enormous amount since that promise was made. Many civilians are paying ten to twenty times as much for their HI as what we pay for Tricare Prime. They have seen their rates go sky high in recent years so we should expect to at least partially share their pain. It sounds like a reasonable explanation to me but most military retirees just get real PO'd at me for saying it.

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