Tricare changes, new fees rejected by Senate committee

Tricare changes, new fees rejected by Senate committee

The Senate Armed Services Committee has rejected the Defense Department’s proposal to overhaul Tricare, likely giving military families, retirees and their families a reprieve from major changes to their health care coverage for at least another year.

In its draft version of the 2016 defense authorization bill, committee members decided against making sweeping changes to Tricare, including new fees for most retirees and abolishing the current structure in favor of a consolidated plan that divided programs into managed and network care, and non-network care.

Instead, the committee bill would make some small adjustments to Tricare pharmacy fees, allow Tricare beneficiaries up to four urgent care visits per year without the need for pre-authorization, and require the Pentagon to publish information about access to care and provide numerous reports on the status of its health facilities and services.

The armed services committee’s personnel panel initially had considered including the DoD proposals, but the full committee did not go along with the changes, which would have introduced fees for some beneficiaries to use emergency rooms, military treatment facilities and the Tricare for Life program.

Source: Tricare changes, new fees rejected by Senate committee

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