Senators join forces to contain TRICARE hikes

Thinkstock

Increases to certain health care insurance fees in the TRICARE program would be capped under a bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate on Friday.

The 2012 Military Health Care Protection Act links hikes to enrollment fees, deductibles and drug co-payments for military retirees to their annuity. It requires that the percentage of increase in certain TRICARE fees in any given year does not exceed the percentage of increase in military retired pay. TRICARE, the military’s health insurance program, serves 9.3 million beneficiaries, including 5.5 million military retirees.

The legislation, introduced by Sens. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., comes on the same day the House passed a $643 billion Defense authorization bill that includes modest increases to some TRICARE drug co-pays. The Republican-led House rejected the Obama administration’s recommendations to raise premiums for military retirees based on their retirement pay, in addition to other fee hikes. The White House TRICARE proposals could find a warmer reception in the Democratic-led Senate, where the Armed Services Committee is slated to mark up its 2013 Defense authorization bill next week.

Lautenberg, however, has successfully fought efforts to raise TRICARE fees in previous years by offering amendments to the Defense authorization legislation.

“A tough fiscal climate is no excuse to balance the budget on the backs of our nation’s military retirees and their families,” the New Jersey senator said in a statement. “Those Americans who serve in our military do so much to protect us -- the least we can do is protect them against excessive health care costs.” Lautenberg is an Army veteran.

“This bill would give veterans on TRICARE greater assurances that their costs will not spiral out of control beyond their means to pay for them,” Rubio said in a statement. “Military retirees who rely on fixed incomes usually don’t have the ability to go out and find new jobs to pay for increased TRICARE costs. This effort will bring more predictability to help them budget for their health care needs.”

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.