Special Pay for Medical Officers

Dentist examines xray

If you are a health professional officer you may be entitled to many special pays. The following is a basic summary of what you need to know about Health Professions Special & Incentive (HPS&I) Pay.  

HPS&I pay is paid to Health Profession Officers (HPOs) for the specialty for which they are fully qualified. The specialty or subspecialty must be the same for all pays received. An HPO may only receive Incentive Pay (IP) and a Retention Bonus (RB) for one specialty, even if they hold qualifications in two or more specialties.

Being a HPO doesn't necessarily mean being a medical doctor; pharmacists, dentists, social workers, veterinarians, mental health specialists and nurses qualify to name just a few.

Accession Bonus (AB)  

This is paid to HPOs who agree to serve at least 3 or 4 years in the military. The amount varies by medical specialty and length of service agreement. There is also a Critical Wartime Skills Accession Bonus (CWSAB) that may pay much more money to HPOs with necessary skillsets during wartime.

Board Certification Pay (BCP)

To qualify for BCP, the HPO must maintain all their licensing, credentialing, and specialty qualifications. Currently, the annual amount is $6,000, which is prorated and paid monthly. 

Retention Bonus (RB)

After the initial period of obligated service ends, HPOs may sign on for an additional length of time and get an RB. Once again, the bonus varies by specialty and length of time. The RB is paid annually when the extension is signed and on the anniversary date. Depending on the situation, an HPO can sign a new service agreement while they are under an existing RB contract. They can do this to get more money, but they have to serve the additional time. This depends on the needs of the military.

Incentive Pay (IP)

IP is paid to HPOs in designated specialties. It is a monthly pay, and paid to HPOs who agree to serve at least one additional year. The amount varies by specialty and length of additional service. HPOs can get IP and and RB at the same time if their specialty warrants it. Like the RB, HPOs can sign a longer IP agreement for more money at any time depending on the needs of the service. 

Keep Up With Military Pay Updates

Military pay benefits are constantly changing. Make sure you're up-to-date with everything you've earned. Subscribe to Military.com to receive updates on all of your military pay and benefits, delivered directly to your inbox.

Story Continues