Retired Guardsmen and reservists will pay more for Tricare enrollment in 2019, while others will see small decreases to their monthly or annual fees, according to information recently updated on Tricare's website.
The rate changes go into effect Jan. 1 after a 2017 revision that moved Tricare from a fiscal year fee system to one based on the calendar year. Officials have not yet released updated enrollment fees for traditional retirees.
Starting in 2019, Tricare Retired Reserve users will pay $451.51 monthly for individuals and $1083.40 for families, up from the 2018 rates of $431.35 for individuals and $1038.31 for families.
While those retiree fees are increasing, users of Tricare Reserve Select and some Tricare Young Adult users will instead experience small enrollment fee decreases for 2019.
Tricare Reserve Select users will pay about $4 less out of pocket each month for both the individual and family plans. The 2019 monthly rates are $42.83 for an individual and $218.01 for families.
Tricare Young Adult Select users will pay about $9 less out of pocket for enrollment fees each month, with a new rate of $214. Tricare Young Adult Prime users, however, will pay more than $20 more, with a new 2019 monthly rate of $358, up from the 2018 rate of $334.
Enrollment fees aren't the only out-of-pocket costs changing in 2019. Co-pays for active-duty families and retiree Tricare Select users will go up slightly in some categories, based on the annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).
The COLA adjustment, which will be officially announced in mid-October, is currently estimated at about 2.8 percent.
For Tricare Select retirees, that means co-pays for primary-care providers are projected to go up from $28 to $29, emergency room co-pays will increase from $109 to $111, urgent care co-pays will go up $1 to $29, and ambulance co-pays will increase from $98 to $102.
Active-duty family Select users are also projected to see some COLA-based cost increases. For those users, ambulance co-pays will go from $74 to $76, while emergency room visits will go up $2 to $83 per visit.
-- Amy Bushatz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was updated Sept. 26 to reflect the correct payment periods for Tricare Retired Reserve users. Rates are paid monthly.