New Health Care Proposals for Military Families

Navy health care

The yearlong study into military benefits took a serious interest in health care. The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC) has proposed a new health care system that would offer a selection of commercial health care plans, similar to what’s offered to federal civilian employees.  Those health plans are considered the gold standard for insurance.

TRICARE, as it exists today, would go away and would be replaced by a plan offering the following:

  • A menu of high quality health plans modeled on the federal civilian plans but customized for the unique needs of military families
  • An array of health plan options (e.g., PPO, HMO), covered benefits, and price
  • Several choices in any geographic area
  • Dental and vision coverage options (including current TRICARE Dental programs)
  • Continued access to Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs). Insurance companies would include MTFs in their networks and reimburse MTFs for the care delivered as they do any other provider.
  • The option for beneficiaries to change plans during the annual open season or at a life changing event such as a change in family size or PCS.
  • Plans with catastrophic caps to alleviate large, unplanned health care bills
  • Coverage for dependents until age 26 at no additional cost
  • The pharmacy program as it currently exists

How Much Will the New Plan Cost?

The exact cost will depend on the type of plan the family selects. Active Duty Service Members (ADSMs) will receive a Basic Allowance for Health Care (BAHC), a non-taxable allowance to offset health care costs for their family members. The BAHC will be used by the active duty families to pay for premiums and out of pocket costs, such as office co-pays.

The health care allowance would:

  • Vary based on location
  • Completely cover the average family’s premiums and out of pocket costs
  • Have a portion go directly to the insurance carrier to cover health plan premiums and what’s left go to the service member as a cash payment.
  • Also be able to pay for health insurance outside of TRICARE Choice (e.g., a spouse’s employer based plan, an activated Reservist’s employer based plan, an ACA marketplace plan)
  • Assist (the Active component) with out of pocket costs for chronic or catastrophic conditions until the plan’s catastrophic cap is reached. Active duty families would apply to this program for more money to cover co-payments that substantially exceed their BAHC.
  • Let active duty families see providers at MTF, which would be considered in-network, but would have a cost associated with accessing care at an MTF. (No cost-share for ADSMs).
  • Give families more responsibility for selecting a health insurance plan and managing the BAHC.

The health care proposals make no changes for:

  • Active Duty Service Members. Service members will continue to receive health care through their unit or Military Treatment Facility (MTF). When referred to a private sector for specialist care, they would have access to network providers at no cost.
  • Medicare Eligible Retirees. Currently use TRICARE for Life and would continue to do so.

Remember: No changes to the military health system can take place unless Congress passes legislation.

What do you think of these health care proposals? Is there information you’d like to know about MCRMC’s recommendations?

Posted February 17, 2015

Comments

From: PissedOffSpouseRetired on: September 18, 2017
All I know is that is President Trump does not fix this MESS like he PROMISED, he will NOT see another term. This is all beyond insanity, it's down right MALPRACTICE on our Goverments part and I'm telling you the shit is about to hit the fan folks. Be ready.
From: Doug on: November 21, 2015
I have Medicare and Triadcare For Life. Have had major back surgery in the past and still sufadfer some back pain. I have very large brasets and feel that they may be conadtributading to and/or causading the pain. Quesadtion: Will Medicare and Triadcare For Life pay for breast reducadtion surgery?
From: Jeri on: March 25, 2015
Please leave triage alone.
From: Robin on: March 4, 2015
To the united states government, please remember those who are serving and served. These men and women have fought for our freedom. It is not free. Take care of those who were in compat and their familes. I mean the solider who fought for our country. All I hear is lip servivce.
From: Anonymous on: February 25, 2015
I'm active duty and have been waiting for over 2.5 years to have my foot fixed by Tricare, so at this point, anything would be an improvement. That said, if the care I received from Tricare were anything closer to the care I received when I worked at a civilian company back in 2004, I would be fighting this tooth and nail. Makes me wonder if the fact that Tricare has been going downhill since I first enlisted in 1995 is intentional or just a result of gross incompetence.
From: Anonymous on: February 25, 2015
Our soldiers deservr.the best care available. They put their lives on tthe line every day. They sacrifice so much. They deserve free healthcare.
From: Anonymous on: February 24, 2015
leave Tricare and all medical benefits alone!!!
From: Anonymous on: February 24, 2015
So many lies! Why hurt the very people who serve and sacrifice so much for our country. Shameful and very sad. Makes me sick and disillusioned.
From: AnnO on: February 24, 2015
Who is going to voluntarily join the service, as military benefits get quietly whittled away? Concerns I have are: Frequent moving in the military. Will the deductible and copays follow the member so they don't have to start over each time they move? If so, how will this work? Will there be a gap in coverage? What if you get sick while traveling to your new duty station? Who covers it? Who decides who covers it? What if you move after open season is closed? It is already a huge pain to deal with outside providers. I foresee potential paperwork nightmares with this proposal. For example, Dr A orders lab work and an xray. That is now three separate providers. There is a potential copay for each one of those providers. Also, how high are deductibles going to get? My daughter has wonderful insurance coverage, too bad her deductible is so high it's worthless to her. Having insurance is only good if you can afford to buy it and afford to use it. Also, what about retirees who are not medicare eligible? WHY are dependents required to have a copay to go to an MTF? What organization is going to provide information,mediate and advocate for military families?Is there going to be an advocate to explain and help sign up family members in a new location? How will medical records be handled? What is going to happen to all of our existing medical records? Our family has moved, sacrificed friendships, grown up away from family, had multiple school changes and so much more. Starting over frequently is unique to the military lifestyle. Can't tell you how many times we almost through in the towel. We stayed not for the money. Oh no, military pay is not EVER going to make anyone rich! Sense of duty and a belief in what my husband does for this country (us too in part) kept us in. But...the benefits did help to bring military pay up to par with our civilian counterparts. I hate to say it, but this proposal sounds like a wolf in sheeps clothing.
From: TimsArmyWifey on: February 24, 2015
"While these sound good at first glance more details would have to be forthcoming. Tricare Standard is something we are looking into currently because of long wait times at the MTF and the Pharmacy, hard times getting referrals. That being said I think it would behoove Congress to look at their own benefits (and paychecks) FIRST. "
From: concernedwife on: February 24, 2015
Will there be BAHC for each dependent or will it just be an average cost for rank because the military coverage is one reason we choose to stay in? Having 4 kids and one on the way makes this a very serious concern. Our insurance would cost more then the ""average"" family.
From: Earned it on: February 24, 2015
"No that is not the deal and I really do not care to hear all of the crap about times are changing. When I entered the serivce in 1969 it was to avoid the draft since I was not born with a gold spoon in my mouth or could afford to go to college. I served two tours in SEA and the n spent the next 26 years serving my country. I can remember the stifling heat in SEA and the constant stress being concerned about being in harms way. I remember coming home and being treated like I had leporsy. I also remember sleepness nights, constant deployments, being away from family and friends and all of the other hardships the active duty endure. My active duty time was a challenge and a blessing, If I could I would not change a thing. But we need to keep the promises made and provide those who have served, are serving or who will serve gold plated benefit systems that recognizes the unique situations they are enduring each day. I do not remember having any private sector workers with me on patrol, in foxholes or taking hostile fire. Leave well enough alone and let the system work as designed without using the military member and his family as a way to balance the budget. Here is a thought how about not going on fact finding missions(congress). I am not complaining but enough is enough if you want to change the plan feel free not to support those that have sacrificed, those that are sacrificing and those that will sacrifice. My son just returned from Afghan and is a mess both mentally and physically when is America or those that run American going to undestand the need to keep there promises. The system works well now and should no be changed. "
From: disgusted on: February 24, 2015
What is new, the same old song and dance with the exception of WW2 vets, this country has a long history of forgetting and ignoring their promises to their vets.
From: Allie on: February 24, 2015
And what about the retired military and their spouses? Where do we fit into all of these changes? I feel the current administration is trying to break the military and veterans. These were benefits promised to us when my husband joined and made the military a career. He has since passed, and I am struggling on my own. I continue to work in order TO SURVIVE. HOW DO RETIRED MEMBERS FIT INTO THIS? I DO NOT QUALIFY FOR TRICARE FOR LIFE BECAUSE I AM NOT MEDICARE ELIGIBLE. THIS IS APPALLING AND DISGUSTING -- WHAT IS BEING DONE TO 30 YEARS OF SERVICE AND SACRIFICE. AS I CONTINUE TO HUNT FOR SUPPLEMENTAL PLANS, I DO NOT KNOW HOW I WILL SURVIVE WHEN I HAVE TO COME UP WITH $2400+ FOR MY HEALTH CARE. I AM STUNNED AT THE WAY WE ARE BEING TREATED.
From: vanessa on: February 24, 2015
Stop trying to screw our military,and start taking care of those who risk their lives on daily basis.They deserve way better than what they are getting.
From: sgthordwife on: February 24, 2015
Why change something that has worked for so long. Oh, I forget how selfish congress is. They want their insurance paid for but don't care about what happens to those who have served this country. Pathetic in my book because congress doesn't CARE!!! My husband is only National Guard but has served this country & deserves to be covered. If you want to chanel it change it for new recruits. Like my dad Says ""If it's not broke don't fix it."" But what do I know I'm just a spouse of an American Soldier that is getting treated like shit by this country because of the heartless, money hungry, ungrateful individuals that run this country. You can take this insurance change & shove it up your a**.
From: cp090607 on: February 24, 2015
This is complete crap, most families are signal income based, and if you have a larger family and health issues your are completely crap out of luck, cause as a mom I will put my kids health first, if that means I don't get to get seen cause I'm worried about cost, then that's what will happen. Most people join the military not because they make so much money or housing, but health care. Because people can provide health care that is needed for their families. I have 4 kids one adhd high function autism spec. One with high an an anxiety over docs and aggression, one with anxiety and other issues, and one that had to be admitted recently to the hospital for a stomach bug. We have alot of doc appts, alot of trips to either urgent care or er. Alot of appts. That's not including my health issues.
From: Allie on: February 24, 2015
I am a retired dependent wife. My spouse passed away last year. I am still reeling from the grief and financial hardship. I am only 60 and do not qualify yet for medicare / tricare for life. I am appalled as to what is happening to our military healthcare. We are being kicked to the curb. I have received $1500 in medical bills for myself -- not my husbands. The timeframe is for December 2013 - December 2014. 2 urgent care visits, 3 primary care visits, and an outpatient medical procedure. And they all want THEIR MONEY NOW. ALL OF IT. This is TRULY DESPICABLE what is happening to the military. I am afraid I will no longer be able to stay in my home. I am still working and will continue to work, but this is HORRIFYING WHAT THEY ARE DOING TO US. I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO AFFORD TO LIVE...
From: Allie on: February 24, 2015
"What happens to those in the middle? The article refers to active duty service members/their families and medicare eligible retirees / tricare for life. I am 60 years old and working. I lost my military spouse a year ago, and am still reeling from the grief and financial hardship. I HAVE MANAGED TO HANG ON TO OUR HOME AND AM GETTING BY. However, these changes are going to DEVASTATE me. I have been receiving medical bills for myself in which I DIDN'T KNOW THAT I WOULD OWE from December 2013 - December 2014. 2 urgent care visits, 3 primary care physician office visits, and an outpatient medical procedure. All of these medical bills are piling up and I do not have the funds to pay these bills. I am currently trying to locate a supplemenetal insurance plan which I can afford. So far -- the ones I have found are out of my price range. These were MEDICAL benefits promised when my husband made a career in the military. I am SO appalled at what is happening to our military healthcare. I DON'T KNOW IF I AM GOING TO BE ABLE TO FINANCIALLY PULL THIS OFF -- IF I HAVE TO PAY $1000 -- $2400 A YEAR FOR ADDITIONAL MEDICAL INSURANCE. "
From: anonymous on: February 24, 2015
This will be a sure death sentence for me. 2 years ago I was diagnosed with Growth hormone deficiency and had an MRI which concluded that I have a pituitary cyst. Surgery isn't an option and will make me go into complete pituitary failure if they tried. I also have cortisol deficiency. I will have this for the rest of my life. I have to be on growth hormone shots which on average per pen and mind you I go through 1 1/2 pens each month at the cost of $700 to $1000 or more each month per pen. I have asthma since the age of 12, sleep apnea, and fibromyalgia, and PTSD. If my husband isn't active duty my medication would not only kill our reserve savings in a matter of months, but a sure death sentence as I will no longer be able to afford my life saving medications. Of the top 10 most expensive medications for insurance companies, I take 3 of them. I am very worried at the rate and where this is going. I am not a diabetic, but need close monitoring. My soldier and I do not live by a base so this would be even more taxing and problematic then it needs to be. Kick a man when he is down. This is the message I am walking away with. Very sad. This is very bad news for all of us. It's only a matter of time before it will hit the pocketbooks of the healthy. I will fight tooth and nail to live. I refuse to let my insurance company tell me who will live and who will die!
From: No tricare change on: February 24, 2015
It would put too much stress on the families to have to pay out of pocket expenses. They do not get paid enough to cover medical expenses. Will they be getting a 5 percent raise every year to cover what us being taken away from them? I vote no change to Tricare!
From: MrsW on: February 24, 2015
"We pay a premium for Tricare Reserve Select. 1. How would that plan change? 2. In-Network providers are hard to find in rural areas. The amount of paperwork they have to so to see a few patients is not worth it to them. The service member and their families are left to decide to travel a long distance without a reimbursement, or pay a higher cost for out of network providers. This applies to AGR, recruiters in areas where there are no MTFs, etc. will this be taken into consideration when deciding where the allowances are higher?"
From: NP on: February 24, 2015
"I think that the commission has left way too many loopholes here. As other commenters have said, what happens to deductibles, catastrophic caps, etc., if service members must PCS? Do families have to start all over again? Will the allowance pay for two sets of deductibles/caps in the same fiscal year if a PCS takes place? What happens if someone is sent to a remote duty station where no local doctors participate in the insurance plans offered to service members (this has happened to us...it is a nightmare). Will current retirees -especially working retirees- be forced to pay 20% of costs or will they be grandfathered in, as they have had no chance to save up for this enormous shifting of costs? How often will prescription formularies be changed? Will appeals be possible? (We are in this situation now, too - the meds that work have been knocked off the formulary and this is not a laughing matter when you have a chronic condition that requires lifetime medication.) Did the commission study the impact on local medical providers of this shift in coverage? I think not, because there are many places, such as China Lake, Calif., where there are not enough civilian primary care physicians available (let alone specialists!) to service the existing local community, forcing families to use urgent care for most immediate medical problems. Add all the military families to that potential patient base and wait times for appointments will be even longer than they are now, adversely impacting everyone in the community. I see this as an attempt to force military families to 1)pay more for medical care; 2)support the ACA to make it look more successful; 3)accept a change to the promise of affordable health insurance after retirement - a change that benefits everyone BUT the retirees; 4)pay out of pocket for at least part of a catastrophic cap and 5)accept a geography-based BAHC when it is well known that two hospitals in the same city can charge wildly different amounts for the same services, so patients with emergencies might end up with huge medical bills because they """"chose"""" the """"wrong"""" hospital. No, no, no. This is not a good way to revamp TRICARE. When you apply the """"Who benefits?"""" test, the answer is NOT """"service members, families and retirees."""" "
From: Anonymous on: February 24, 2015
As a military family, WE CANNOT AFFORD THIS!! Our bah has been cut by 500$ as it is. I don't live near family. I need to stay home with our littlest son who was born prematurely. Due to his breathing issues the doctors don't want him in any kind of childcare until he's stronger. But with the bah cut alone, I will somehow have to go back to work. Our older two kids also born early have numerous medical issues. We cannot afford for our medical benefits to be cut & force even more money out of our pockets. Absolutely no benefit to serve this country any more. - service members are away from their families. With the recent cuts, can't even afford to support their families. Now even more cuts to come. And they get absolutely NO respect. There is no honor in serving a country who treats their service members and their families with such disrespect. There are countless other areas where budgets can be cut- Congress's paycheck alone. Or all should join us military families & live at our poverty level.
From: Anonymous on: February 24, 2015
I honestly think this is a horrible idea..I work for a heath care provider and most premiums are about 800 a month with 7 thousand dollar deductible. Please do not change what little military families get. Military doesn't get paid nearly enough for all they sacrifice for our country! Most live paycheck to paycheck! Do not let this pass!!
From: Anonymous on: February 24, 2015
There are 3 of us "dependents" and we might go to the doctor once a year. So by all means go ahead and give us a $8800 stipend. Then I will purchase insurance through my work and include my husband on my policy and he can see a real doctor that won't say the reason your arm hurts is because you are old and smoke. Nevermind the fact the muscle was completely ripped off the bone and had to be screwed back together. Just part of getting old. This is the stupidest idea ever.
From: Anonymous on: February 24, 2015
right now, civilian doc wont accept tricare prime remote. AGRs are forces to use emergency rooms.
From: Anonymous on: February 24, 2015
Unbelievable expectations ...4 children, cross country drive, schools, orientation new area...and responsibilities. Housing availability, long drives to new bases. Now we can find a doctor or run to the emergency room. Go back to conscription where all enjoy lifestyle. hatter
From: Tiger215 on: February 24, 2015
I believe it is one of the worst ideas they have ever come up with...so my family, because we have special needs children we will have to pay more for everything? How is that fair??
From: Justretired on: February 24, 2015
"completely" cover the "average" family premium and out of pocket expenses. Completely...i doubt it. Define average.
From: Anonymous on: February 24, 2015
Don't agree with this. healthcare premiums are outrageous in the civilian sector, and giving a "healthcare allowance" is only telling me this will be temporary, like all other allowances they eventually decrease or stop. why change tricare?
From: mag on: February 24, 2015
Do not support this! How would YOU FEEL if your benefits were decreased.
From: Nay on: February 24, 2015
How will this effect the medical care for the surviving familes.
From: Mike on: February 24, 2015
and for those of us on tricare reserve select?
From: Sean on: February 24, 2015
What about reserves using TRICARE. How does this affect them?
From: Mike G on: February 24, 2015
Military is always cut first to free up money to create or expand useless agencies. Military benefits have been crippled in the last 6+ years. Out of all the things the POTUS is unclear about. Its crystal clear he does not intend to stand up for for the military. Do not support this, its a bunch of crap.
From: Tiffanie on: February 24, 2015
Why would you make so many confusing changes!!? Life is already difficult enough as a military family. This is crap.
From: IDCwife on: February 24, 2015
I actually would prefer to have this as an option. Right now, we live far from our provider. I like military medicine, but I would appreciate being able to choose my physician.
From: Shotgun on: February 24, 2015
There better not be any annual enrollment fee or means-testing basis for TFL either!!!
From: NVwif on: February 24, 2015
The third bullet under ""Health Care Allowances"" should be a health care flex spending account vice mailing the policy holder cash....it wouldn't be saved for medical expenses. I guarantee it!
From: Blah on: February 24, 2015
I don't like this! Sure, at first we will get an allowance to cover the costs, but eventually that allowance will get smaller and smaller. Just like we are seeing with BAH. A few years from now the healthcare allowance will drop so we have to pay 5% out of pocket, then 10%, etc.
From: OldGoatCPO on: February 23, 2015
Reserves and retirees get screwed in this deal. Working age retiree does not automatically equal high paying civilian job. We enter the job market late in life, contractor or govt jobs are all available to us. Maybe govt jobs in DC pay six figures but not in fly over country. We have physical issues different from our working age civilian counterparts and let's not forget who the majority of these working age retirees are...war on terror veterans. So this congress and DOD wants to screw the men and women who just fought their 13 year war.
From: Anonymous on: February 23, 2015
These changes to Tricare will hit military retirees (what they call the ""working age"" retirees) the hardest. Our premiums will increase significantly. I have no problem accessing care in the local community; the local doctors accept Tricare Prime without any problem. I have planned my life in retirement based on having low cost medical; the gutting of Tricare will end this.
From: Lauren on: February 23, 2015
I've seen very little about how working age retirees plan will work. Right now we use employer based insurance as primary and tricare standard as backup. How will we be affected? Healthcare was one of the top reasons we stayed military for 20 years. We feel betrayed.
From: AGRwife-retired on: February 23, 2015
This country needs to honor the promises made to its military members and their families.
From: Anonymous on: February 23, 2015
What us going to happen to those of us who are working retirees that depend on TRICARE for medical insurance? This only addresses the active duty side and nothing about retirees and reservists.
From: anothermilitarywife on: February 23, 2015
Will this extension BAHC that will be used to ""assist families"" be readily available or will it be a long and drawn out process where it will be contested at every step of the way? How will this effect military families when they have to seek emergency treatment from an out of network facility since many military instalations have very limited hospital choices? Specifically, will medical facilities be allowed to balance bill families now? How about the point that mentions changing coverage at the point of PCS? Only a small percentage families PCS during open enrollment periods. Are those families left uninsured untill open enrollment times? What about officer families that move every 2-3 years, do they expect these families to change insurers and find an open provider that often? Or are they expecting no one to make the military a career? How is this making it easier?
From: Shotgun on: February 23, 2015
There should never be an annual enrollment fee for TFL and certainly no ""means-based"" testing for TFL! This would definitely be breaking the faith!
From: Joe on: February 23, 2015
I think it stinks! I believe that the current Administration is pushing this agenda to add I further insult and injury to our brave men and women who serve our country. After all those who serve with honor and give of themselves are a threat to those who want to control.
From: No. on: February 23, 2015
"No. I see this ending up like BAH where it doesn't cover the cost of care and slowly but surely we will be expected to cover a higher and higher percentage on our own. Keep messing with military benefits and you will soon need to implement the draft because no one will want to volunteer to join. Stop spreading our forces so thin. Stop providing aid to other countries when you can't even afford to take care of your own people. That's where you can save money."
From: NP on: February 23, 2015
"I think that the commission has left way too many loopholes here. As other commenters have said, what happens to deductibles, catastrophic caps, etc., if service members must PCS? Do families have to start all over again? Will the allowance pay for two sets of deductibles/caps in the same fiscal year if a PCS takes place? What happens if someone is sent to a remote duty station where no local doctors participate in the insurance plans offered to service members (this has happened to us...it is a nightmare). Will current retirees -especially working retirees- be forced to pay 20% of costs or will they be grandfathered in, as they have had no chance to save up for this enormous shifting of costs? How often will prescription formularies be changed? Will appeals be possible? (We are in this situation now, too - the meds that work have been knocked off the formulary and this is not a laughing matter when you have a chronic condition that requires lifetime medication.) Did the commission study the impact on local medical providers of this shift in coverage? I think not, because there are many places, such as China Lake, Calif., where there are not enough civilian primary care physicians available (let alone specialists!) to service the existing local community, forcing families to use urgent care for most immediate medical problems. Add all the military families to that potential patient base and wait times for appointments will be even longer than they are now, adversely impacting everyone in the community. I see this as an attempt to force military families to 1)pay more for medical care; 2)support the ACA to make it look more successful; 3)accept a change to the promise of affordable health insurance after retirement - a change that benefits everyone BUT the retirees; 4)pay out of pocket for at least part of a catastrophic cap and 5)accept a geography-based BAHC when it is well known that two hospitals in the same city can charge wildly different amounts for the same services, so patients with emergencies might end up with huge medical bills because they """"chose"""" the """"wrong"""" hospital. No, no, no. This is not a good way to revamp TRICARE. When you apply the """"Who benefits?"""" test, the answer is NOT """"service members, families and retirees."""" "
From: jp on: February 23, 2015
Take away all the contractors and stop paying (or should i say go even more in debt) and out sourcing everything and anything!! Go back to the old days where the military amd military families ran, fixed, built, maintained everything. Then maybe the military families wouldn't have to worry about always being the first that gets everything taken away.Health care and pay shouldn't ever have been in anyone's thoughts about lessening. That's such a shame!! STOP SOURCING OUT AND RECYCLE THE FUNDS. GIVE BACK TO THE ONES THAT SACRAFICE EVERYTHING.
From: bulldog0975 on: February 23, 2015
The MTF are a joke, and for you to make us take something like the ACA that nobody can afford is a joke, and those with specialneed children will not be accepted to any other policy than Tricare,and any allowance you give to us, states like Mississipi count it in for child support and the enlisted already have a hard enough time trying to get by. Most junior enlisted qualify for food stamps and that is a joke, and you want to take more away with all the sacrifice that our men and women in uniform have to go through, they deserve better than anything you are offering. when you poll the enlistred and have some on your board then maybe you will come up with the right answer but for now everything you are offering is a joke. try taking a look at what the crooked ploticians make and start from there.
From: Ric on: February 23, 2015
Well it sounds good but like our American Indian brothers and sisters I have to look at a long series of ""treaties"" with the Great Fathers in Washington and wonder what haven't they told us about this new plan. SWe the military we promised total health care for life if we offered our lives for 20 years. I kept my end of that ""treaty.""
From: Kiddy on: February 23, 2015
How does this effect the retired Tricare user? Would we be kicked to the ACA 'unaffordable' care market place? Would we still have use of the MTF? Is the goal here to put more military families on the ACA which is Currently unaffordable for most Americans? since TRICARE also gives military persons the option to see outside providers, I'm not seeing how this plan will improve the system. MTF are still going to see a high number of patients if it means not paying out of pocket copays.
From: Are you kidding me on: February 23, 2015
This is just another way to cut the military personnel. We are a family of seven we have a 10 year old son who needs a heart transplant. I could assume that the out of pocket expense will over exceed the allowance that is given to us,so then we will be in debt with his medical bills .I can also say just as people have added BAH into our budget when applying for things like SSI and low cost school,although 100% of it goes out of our pay check.For once are our families ever going to get the respect and sevices we rate? Probley not ,our Military members have no say ,they can't call off work when there sick,they get deployed and have to leave sick family members behind wondering if that was the last time they will see them .But who cares right ? If it doesn't affect you,you life or someone close to you then Change it and save money on something thatbsould never be cut .
From: tired of it on: February 23, 2015
Broken promises once more. So many other expenses that could bear the cuts (hello contractor's, the Marines FRO program to name just two) and yet they continue to attack those who have served and their financial well being.
From: Countingdowntosep on: February 23, 2015
If this passes, the deal is sealed to begin separation. I'm tired of my husband working his tail off day in and day out to have to watch everything he joined for get taken away. I'm thankful for the school assistance I recieved and I'm ready to go home and put it to use. There will no longer be any reason to remain part of this lifestyle.
From: Armygirl73 on: February 23, 2015
thabk the good Lord we are only a couple years from retirement. I can't believe Our families and troops have sacrificed for this treatment. Why doesn't congress cut their benefits?
From: VAmom on: February 23, 2015
I notice there is nothing in these proposals regarding retirees too young for Medicare. What happens to us? I guess we're expected to use the pensions we earned to pay the insurance premiums.
From: retwife on: February 23, 2015
Keep tricare as is, as promised when person enlists. If cost to government is a factor, take it out of Congressional benefits. They can afford the best of care.
From: Jim on: February 23, 2015
It will no doubt screw the military retirees and their families who are not Medicare eligible which is not fair and would be a disgrace. You don't even mention that important group who paid their dues!
From: Annejo on: February 23, 2015
I do not feel this is the way to go for any of us, Active, Reserve or Retiree. Looks to me like it would be super easy to cut out all together by doing something like this. I think we need to go back to doing some things the way we used to.. We used to take care of our military families but now, it seems all anyone wants to do is cut cut cut any and all benefits.
From: USCG ADC Retired on: February 23, 2015
As A ""Working Age"" Retiree.. who is Retired I feel betrayed. I calculated that my Wife and I could retire based on premium free health care insurance - Tricare Standard and a 3K cap each year. (they boast that our new fee for life policy would provide eyglasses.. something I personally have paid for out of pocket to the tune of $200 since 1996. ) Suggested to our Children and Grandchildren that they join the service out of High School. Told them that retirement payments were great, but the thing we valued most was free healthcare for life (as we know it now, sans co-pays, higher Cat. Caps and a looming ""free health care for life fee"" ..Two Joined but now I wonder... Is Walmart Hiring.... I may need to go back to work to pay for my Health Care Insurance Premiums... Never Expected to say those Words.....
From: MSgt USAF, ret on: February 23, 2015
broken promises to those of us already retired. Terribly disgraceful. (Con)gress needs to honor the promise we earned...but then there is no honor among thieves. i understand things do and must change. Why are ""they"" consistently eroding from those that can least afford to adjust.
From: Retired guy on: February 23, 2015
I have seen many changes over the pass 30+ years; none have ever benefited the member. Leave our ""earned"" benefits along and keep the promises to the 7% of the population who have serves this great country. P.S. Stop telling us this was a cost savings drill.
From: Ron on: February 23, 2015
They can say and you can write all the things they claim it will do, but it is still taking away the assured care for those who retired after putting the military first. We are going to be dumped, plain and simple. Basically what is listed above is what Tricare already provides, but it's just a way for them to make us pay for it as if we didn't do anything (20+ years of service) to deserve medical coverage. No one cares one whit about the military except as a tool to be used for their own personal political gains.
From: Soon to retire on: February 23, 2015
Sounds like a shell game to me. I have nearly always had great care from Army medicine. MTFs have been great about switching providers if I wasn't happy and I rarely have to wait much (except for Rx). But I know once retired, we are screwed - especially if this happens.
From: ka on: February 23, 2015
they need to honor promises made to people. at 10 you say, are we staying in or getting out, and you stay in BC OF THE BENEFITS when you get out. grandfather us in. smoke screen.
From: Sandy on: February 23, 2015
I've been saying for close to 20 years that this is the type of coverage our country should provide our Veterans and Military families. It's about time commen sense factored in. The current Tricare system is a mess with absoutly no choice or say in our own health care. I like that this plan still gives the option for Families to be seen at at a MTF for no cost, but for those who have real medical issues or who actualy understand how the medical system works, having options are a blessing that have been needed for a very long time. I hope they pass it as suggested!
From: 3andes on: February 23, 2015
This is disgraceful for us ""Working Age Retiree's"" who sacrificed for over 20 years! We will be screwed! Leave my Tricare Prime alone! It works wonderfully where we live in the central valley of California. We have no MTF within 110 miles, not that MTF's are really worth a darn. Healthcare was one of the biggest benefits for staying in! We should not be the ones who get the shaft through this bullcrap! Where is the provision to protect us from astronomical premiums. My husband did almost 22 years, is rated 70% disabled through VA, can only work part time (not eligible for employer health insurance) and is 42 years old with a completely broken body plus we have a kid heading to college soon. I am not opposed to a modest increase of co-pay or even a reasonable increase in our annual Tricare Prime premium but to be thrown to the wolves of what is basically obamacare...that is UNACCEPTABLE. HEY CONGRESS...ACT WISELY...HEY PENTAGON...Cut your ridiculous waste and fraud and be accountable before you slice and dice our medical care!
From: Kinderhug on: February 23, 2015
What is meant by ""average family""? We have a large family. Does this mean we will have to pay premiums above the BAHC as ACA plans are based on the # of people in the family? How is BAHC being calculated? Location, rank, family size?
From: Dawn on: February 23, 2015
It seems to be simple. In my opinion, there are many many other ways to save money if that's what this is all about. So I suspect that saving money is not the entire motive. I work in health care mainly seeing insurance costs and copays and deductibles not to mention how much the people pay for the insurance itself. ""Promises"" that were made to those who left their lives and families behind for months and sometimes years at a time thinking that they were doing that for those benefits they were told they'd receive upon retirement .... These honorable men and women deserve to be taken care of in the manner they were assured of ... Trying to save money off of this particular segment of the military family population is completely ill advised. It's not rational, it's unfair, it's expensive ( I don't care how you sugar coat it --- I see the real truth every single day at work ) and it creates undue hardship on those who can least afford it. Don't do it. Just don't.
From: Lisa on: February 23, 2015
It doesn't seem to cover families for medical retirees. We are not covered under Tricare for life or Medicare so does that mean we would be screwed?
From: Di on: February 23, 2015
my husband is a retired vet, under 65. After working in the ins business for 17 years, I know I have a good insurance. I do not think this is fair to take away something that works. The Military deserves better.
From: Army wife for 10 years; Air Force daughter a lot longer on: February 23, 2015
Tricare works just fine. In over a decade, my family has never had a problem. The people I know who have a problem generally take issue with particular medical personnel and blame Tricare even though Tricare is not the cause. The primary issue I see with this proposal for active duty families is that, under Tricare Prime, we are guaranteed NO put of pocket medical expenses outside of dental copays, contact lens fittings and products, and medications if filled at civilian pharmacies. We are also guaranteed NO denial of treatment or coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Nothing in this very brief description offers any assurances for those scenarios. It also does not address treatment access to families stationed overseas, which my assumption is that they would continue to be limited to MTFs despite being required to pay for services. The government can try to spin this as giving us choice, but it is simply an attempt to save money. But in all likelihood this will cost money due to the need for additional staffing to manage the increased paperwork. And there will be bugs as with any new system that is implemented. Whether it was in writing or not, our service members were promised certain things and it is high time the government stopped taking them away. The benefits package, both paid and unpaid, is a large part of the reason we have the largest all volunteer force in the world. Stop trying to fix what isn't broken and repair your budget issues from some other population. Military service members and their benefits, programs national security, food and health programs for kids, and education should be off limits. My twenty-five cents, leave Tricare alone.
From: Julia on: February 23, 2015
This is BS, seriously, if an active duty family member wishes to go outside MTF's, standard is always an option with a low deductible and low catastrophic cap. AS SOON AS you open this up, the BAHC will absolutely NOT cover everything for everyone, especially for families with special medical needs. Also, will I now be required to access MTF's, even on a regular (nonprime) plan? Oh, HELL NO! I am an attorney, and I PROMISE you I don't have 3 hours to spend at an MTF every time I'm sick, or need a med refill. That kind of time suck costs me a fortune in lost hours and productivity. This is seriously BS.
From: AGRwife-retired on: February 23, 2015
Comparing military compensation to civilian is like comparing apples to orangutans.
From: Anonymous on: February 23, 2015
Many married service members are the only source of income in their household. A fair number of those already get government assistance in the form of wic, food stamps, etc. now you are asking them to shoulder even more of a burden, and make no mention whatsoever of offsetting the costs these families are going to incur by raising pay or some other means. This on top of looming cuts to commissaries and housing. Great job making it more and more obvious that you don't care at all about service members, either while they are serving, or after they get out (I'm looking right at you Department of Veterans Affairs) Quit padding the pockets of Military Research Contractors that just milk the system out of trillions and have nothing to show for it, and actually TAKE CARE OF SOLDIERS AND THEIR FAMILIES FOR ONCE.
From: VA Mom on: February 23, 2015
This sounds like it's going to cost more than it will save.
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