Published: 9 March 2014 The Military Benefits Podcast
In our inaugural Military Benefits podcast, Military.com benefits expert Terry Howell takes a look at the proposed TRICARE changes in the 2015 defense budget, and how it will affect military families moving forward. Have feedback or comments? Sound off in the comments field below.
Highlights from the Podcast:
- The proposed changes include elimination of TRICARE Prime and Extra, and the establishment of a single system with a premium similar to the current Standard program.
- The catastrophic cap would be increased to $5000 per military family.
- The new system would change cost shares for active duty families, depending on whether the military family uses an on-base Military Treatment Facility or an off-base doctor. For example, if you are a retiree living far away from a base, this will probably result in increased cost shares for you.
- New annual premium for TRICARE for Life, based on a percentage of an individual's retirement pay (existing TFL beneficiaries are grandfathered in). TFL fees will increase each year up to 2019, capping out at $818 for flag officer retirees.
- Working-age retirees (38-65 years old) could be seen as being "in the crosshairs" if this legislation goes through, if they depend on TRICARE for their health care.
- Our "crystal ball" prediction: Even if TRICARE Prime and Extra are maintained, there will be a push to have a new premium for TRICARE for Life and TRICARE Standard.
- If you want to contact your local Congressman about these proposed changes, visit the Military.com Legislative Center.