Saturday, March 5, 2011

Center for American Progress and TRICARE

Group suggests new fees for retired TRICARE enrollees

In an effort to reduce skyrocketing DoD healthcare costs, a liberal think tank recommended that the government phase in TRICARE enrollment fees for working-age retirees and create incentives to reduce overuse of services.
In a Feb. 28 report, the Center for American Progress released a report which offered proposals to slow down the growth in military health costs for military retirees.
DoD could save $6 billion a year if it increased TRICARE enrollment fees paid by working-age retirees; the fees should be tiered based on retirement pay, the report said. Additionally, TRICARE for Life enrollees should pay a $120 per person annual enrollment fee, as recommended by the Task Force on the Future of Military Health Care, the report said.
DoD’s fiscal 2012 budget request includes $52.5 billion for the TRICARE military medical insurance program, a 300 percent increase over its fiscal 2001 budget.
“These skyrocketing healthcare costs will consume an increasingly large portion of the defense budget,” the report said. “The cost of military health care could eventually begin to divert funding away from other crucial national security initiatives.”
The recommendations do not suggest fee increases for active-duty servicemembers, who receive health care at no cost. The group does not suggest new fees for lower-income or seriously injured veterans, who receive health coverage through the Department of Veterans Affairs rather than through TRICARE.

(H/T Jane)

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