Pay and Benefits Watch: Health help for DoD retirees

ksaldarini@govexec.com

The Senate voted Wednesday to approve an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2001 that would allow military retirees age 65 and older to participate in Defense Department health care plans.

Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, sponsored the amendment that would extend eligibility for medical care under DoD's CHAMPUS and Tricare programs to more than 1 million DoD retirees over age 64.

On the Senate floor, Warner noted that even though the Defense Department has never been statutorily required to offer health care to military retirees, many service members were promised they would receive health care for life. Forcing them into Medicare, he said, "is a breach of a promise, made on behalf of our nation, and we've got to correct it."

"These individuals devoted a significant portion of their lives with careers in service to our country," Warner said. "I recognize with profound sorrow how we broke the promise to these retirees." Tricare, the military's managed care system, and the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS), an insurance program to cover supplemental care from civilian doctors for military dependents and for retirees, currently only cover military retirees until Medicare kicks in at age 65.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Warner's amendment would cost DoD $1.9 billion in 2001 and $3.8 billion by 2003. Over ten years, the price tag adds up to $40 billion. If passed, funds for the program will be earmarked in DoD's 2002 budget request and the program would take effect on Oct. 1, 2002. The amendment would only authorize the benefits until 2004, due to budgetary constraints.

Provided the larger Defense Authorization bill that the Senate passes includes this amendment, the provision would next move to a House-Senate conference committee.

Another amendment that would have allowed all retirees 65 and older to participate in the Federal Employees' Health Benefits Plan was defeated in the Senate Wednesday. That plan, proposed by Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., would have cost $90 billion over 10 years.

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
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

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