The new health care law is the Affordable Care Act. Simply speaking, the Affordable Care Act will have very little impact on TRICARE beneficiaries. Beneficiaries who receive TRICARE benefits, whether at no cost, by electing to pay an enrollment fee, or by paying monthly premiums, have minimum essential coverage required under the Affordable Care Act. The biggest change they will notice may be an extra letter in their mailbox every January, and an extra box to check on their tax forms every April. Beginning with the 2014 tax season, and every tax year after that, the Department of Defense will send every TRICARE beneficiary the same information it sends the Internal Revenue Service. Because the information sent to the IRS is generated using beneficiaries' Social Security numbers, it is essential for sponsors to make sure their family's Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, or DEERS, information is correct and up-to-date.
For more updates on benefits programs and how they affect the military, visit the Military Advantage blog.