Since the passage of the Health Care Reform Act last year, many TRICARE beneficiaries have been asking when TRICARE would begin offering coverage for military dependent children up to age 26 - like the civilian world. Last week the President signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011, which includes a provision to offer the “TRICARE Young Adult” program which does just that.
Great, right? Maybe not.
What Congress didn't do was spell out the guidelines for how much the new program would cost servicemembers and retirees in additional premiums.
In October, I reported that the Military Officers Association of America was warning that the actual premium increase to TRICARE beneficiaries who opt-in for the TYA program could be as much as $2,400 a year.
This was confirmed today in Tom Philpott’s Military Update, which reports that the projections for the annual TYA premiums being tossed around the Pentagon range from $1,400 to $2,400 ($116 to $200 a month).
Philpott points out, ‘Congress didn't achieve for military families what was gained for other American families, at least on adult dependent coverage, through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”
Simply put, it’s going to cost military families who choose to enroll in TYA, a lot more to cover adult children than it will for most civilian families.