Military Advantage

Could Retirees be Forced Off TRICARE Prime?

Looking to kick retirees out of TRICARE Prime, Sen. McCain told the 12-member Joint Select Committee on Debt Reduction, that restricting working-age retirees and their families from participating in TRICARE Prime would help them avoid spending cuts that would directly impact readiness.

As Tom Philpott recently reported, McCain was once a champion for expanded TRICARE benefits to retirees. But, he now feels eliminating retiree TRICARE Prime is more acceptable than alternatives to cut equipment, training or key weapon programs needed by the current force.

In addition, McCain supports President Obama’s proposal to set a $200 a year enrollment fee for TRICARE for Life, for military beneficiaries age 65 and older.

If with only TRICARE Standard, retirees would face higher out-of-pockets costs, annual deductibles and cost-sharing requirements. Under TRICARE Standard out-of-pocket costs can't exceed an annual catastrophic cap. But according to Philpott, the CBO suggests raising that cap of $3000 a year per family to $7500.

In addition the CBO predicts that the number of working-age military retirees using TRICARE would drop form 71 percent to 35 percent they were denied access to TRICARE Prime. The CBO also assumes that retirees would switch to their employer-provided health care option.

Read Tom Philpott's article to learn more McCain’s proposal to cut TRICARE  for Retirees.

Let your elected officials know how you feel about Senator McCain’s proposals.

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