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TRICARE Changes FY 2013
Old 01-28-2012, 11:38 AM   #1
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TRICARE Changes FY 2013

Interesting military health care changes will occur in the future. The following is from part of an Email that MOAA sent to me.

Seems like once guaranteed benefits continue to deteriorate.

Quote:
The Pentagon’s FY2013 base budget request of $525 billion is a $6 billion dollar reduction compared to that of the FY2012 base budget, but the impact over the next five years reduces defense spending by $259 billion.

Quote:
Retiree health care benefits takes a significant hit - most affected will be working age retirees under age 65. DoD's proposed changes include:
  1. New enrollment fees and additional fee increases for retirees under age 65 enrolled in TRICARE by creating a "tiered" approach based on retired rank. This means-testing will require senior grade retirees to pay more for their health care than junior retirees;
  2. An enrollment fee for TRICARE for Life beneficiaries 65 and older; and,
  3. Additional increases in pharmacy co-pays with the goal of increasing the use of generics and the mail order pharmacy.
The "tiered" approach to health care fees would make military retirees the only group of government retirees subject to healthcare means-testing. This is a concept we've fought ardently because it flies in the face of logic for a military service incentive - basically, the longer and more successfully you serve, the less benefit you earn.
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:06 PM   #2
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I don't know about you guys, but MOAA is really beginning to piss me off with their terrifying e-mails based on "proposed changes". The only link they provide for these alarmist screeds is an invitation to "OMG e-mail your elected representatives before it's too late!"

I'd pay a lot more attention to their weekly crying wolf e-mails if they'd document them with a DoD website or Congressional documents or even a freakin' press release. Military.com and Military Times have been way better.

I've tracked down everything but this one:
Quote:
New enrollment fees and additional fee increases for retirees under age 65 enrolled in TRICARE by creating a "tiered" approach based on retired rank. This means-testing will require senior grade retirees to pay more for their health care than junior retirees.
Anyone happen to know where that came from?
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Anyone happen to know where that came from?
Apparently from Chapter 10 of this report of the Task Force on the Future of Military Healthcare:

http://www.dcoe.health.mil/Content/N...ORT_122007.pdf
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
Apparently from Chapter 10 of this report of the Task Force on the Future of Military Healthcare:

http://www.dcoe.health.mil/Content/N...ORT_122007.pdf
Thanks. I appreciate you guys answering these questions when I ask them, but is this the kind of thing you've been reading over your morning coffee? Where do I find these resources before I have to read about them in MOAA's next "OMG!!!" alert?

I guess the "good" news is that this study is already over four years old. That was a quadrennial review ago, and ancient history by now.

I know that Congress had proposed limiting future Tricare retiree fee hikes to the pension COLA, but DoD is reputed to have responded "Pffffft."

I also dug up a transcript of a conference call where DoD reported that they'd get a savings out of military retiree healthcare expenses. When one of the questioners pointed out that "savings" was just coming from transferring the Tricare expenses to the retirees, the response was "Yeah, but those retirees have medical insurance from their civilian employers." At which point another (military retiree) member of the conference call pointed out that they were self-employed, and their only medical insurance was Tricare. The response was along the lines of "Everybody has to make sacrifices, and your Tricare expenses will still be less than the equivalent civilian healthcare expenses."

http://www.dodlive.mil/files/2012/01...transcript.pdf

That's when I realized why it was a conference call instead of a face-to-face briefing...
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Thanks. I appreciate you guys answering these questions when I ask them, but is this the kind of thing you've been reading over your morning coffee? Where do I find these resources before I have to read about them in MOAA's next "OMG!!!" alert?
You asked the question, I spent 10 seconds with Google, then followed a link on military.com, them another 10 seconds with Google, and wallah!

Seems to me that MOAA is merely following the NRA's tried and true methodology. The sky is ALWAYS falling with those folks. Just tune 'em in and out as needed.
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Old 01-28-2012, 08:53 PM   #6
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You asked the question, I spent 10 seconds with Google, then followed a link on military.com, them another 10 seconds with Google, and wallah!
Good, thanks, I was afraid that I was missing out on some secret MOAA newsletter.

It appears that I'm not missing anything...
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:05 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
It appears that I'm not missing anything...
Well, that might be a bit of a stretch ...
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:42 AM   #8
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I'm constantly frustrated with MOAA and AARP responses to any proposed changes. I and my DW both retired Army, so we will be affected by these changes like other retired military and other AARP members. I don't want to take the full cuts that will be needed, and yes these are benefits fully paid for. Kinda like my car and house. I get the fact that it is unfair to take even $1 back. However, one could claim we are in a war on spending, and sacrifices will happen. Why not say we are willing to look at some cuts, here is my share, where is yours? When I hear orgs refuse to any cuts, sounding like congress is acting.

Thanks for chance to rant:-) your right, I must be crazy. My DW and kids will testify anywhere.
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:36 AM   #9
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I have 15 years until I can start enjoying my military pension/healthcare and I wonder if anything will be left.

I am at a loss on how to plan for this. I am not sure its even possible.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetireBy90 View Post
I'm constantly frustrated with MOAA and AARP responses to any proposed changes. I and my DW both retired Army, so we will be affected by these changes like other retired military and other AARP members. I don't want to take the full cuts that will be needed, and yes these are benefits fully paid for. Kinda like my car and house. I get the fact that it is unfair to take even $1 back. However, one could claim we are in a war on spending, and sacrifices will happen. Why not say we are willing to look at some cuts, here is my share, where is yours? When I hear orgs refuse to any cuts, sounding like congress is acting.

Thanks for chance to rant:-) your right, I must be crazy. My DW and kids will testify anywhere.
In the interest of full disclosure: I'm a retired Reservist with 23 yrs (6 active & 17 Reserve), and will be eligible for a pension and Tricare in a few years.

I understand the "shared sacrifice" argument you're making, and I'm willing to share in the spirit of equity. However, my view is that DoD and others arguing for military pay and benefits cuts are creating a false choice to further their own agenda. The fact is that DoD is choosing to cut military benefits in lieu of weapons systems and other material costs. IMO, they need to stop buying more "stuff" and fulfill the obligations they've already made, especially those obligations they have to veterans. Said another way, current and future military pay and benefits are debt payments that DoD owes for services they've already received, and they need to pay their debts. The Pentagon (and Congress) need to LBYM or, at the very least, Live Within Their Means.
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:08 PM   #11
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MOAA, AARP, etc are doing what we would expect an advocacy group to do. Their job is to make the case, in spades, for why their group shouldn't take cuts. They moderate their claims only to the degree they need to in order to retain credibility (AARP appeared to believe they'd overplayed their hand recently and scaled back their rhetoric a bit). Legislators (and the public) will make decisions on the merits of their case, that's where the compromises happen.

Regarding cuts to promised and owed compensation for military retirees: If they are to happen, these will be a lot more palatable as part of something bigger, so we can all see this shared sacrifice. Yielding early is just not smart--then you'll get hit again and again as the more comprehensive cuts come. You don't want to have to say "but, remember a year ago we already were cut XX?" That's ancient history when the sausage is being made. Let's get it all out there at once so we can see (and remember) who is being asked to give what.

I also think giving up something that has already been earned is in a different category than giving up a future entitlement, a hoped-for tax break, or a particular present tax treatment. But I'm a military retiree.
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