TRICARE Prime Enrollment Fee Increases for Retirees

The TRICARE Management Activity (TMA) announced the new 2013 TRICARE Prime enrollment fees. It is important for families to know that the new fee increase only applies to Uniformed Services’ retirees and their eligible family members. The change goes into effect on October 1, 2012. The Prime enrollment fee for a retiree (individual) is $269.28 and for retirees and their family members (family) is $538.56.

The 2013 fee increase is based on the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) retirees received in 2012. The adjustment was applied to the $260 (individual) and $520 (family) Prime enrollment fees enacted in 2011. The appearance of a larger than COLA adjustment for TRICARE Prime retirees is because the 2012 increase applied to only new retirees enrolled in Prime and did not apply to retirees already enrolled in Prime prior to October 1, 2012. Their enrollment fee had been held at the 2011 level of $230 (individual) and $460 (family) respectively. As of October 1, 2012, all TRICARE Prime enrolled retiree beneficiaries will be paying the same amount.

Not all beneficiaries will see an increase. Survivors of active duty deceased sponsors and Uniformed Services medically retired service members and their dependents are exempt from annual fee increases. Their rate will be frozen at the rate that was in effect when they were classified and enrolled in TRICARE Prime. It will be important for these beneficiaries to know that their fee will remain frozen as long as there is NO break in their TRICARE Prime enrollment. Of course, active duty service members and their families have access to TRICARE Prime without having to pay an enrollment fee.

The Department of Defense (DoD) has requested another fee increase to TRICARE Prime fees for retirees. Congress has not passed a National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA FY13). TMA wanted to remind beneficiaries that enrollment fees are non-refundable. Therefore, TMA recommends beneficiaries should opt to pay their enrollment fee monthly or quarterly rather than annually in case there are any more changes made to the TRICARE Prime retiree enrollment fee.

The National Military Family Association has advocated for TRICARE Prime enrollment fees for retirees to be held to COLA increases. Congress passed this into law last year. Current proposals by DoD could change this formula and Congress has not passed the NDAA FY13 to prevent DoD’s proposed changes. Our Association will keep you updated on all and any changes to your TRICARE benefit.

(Source: http://www.tricare.mil/pressroom/news.aspx?fid=744)

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