The Department of Defense has been trying to get Congress to increase healthcare premiums for military retirees. After little success, the DOD now hopes to create the right incentives for beneficiaries to achieve savings, reports Federal News Radio.
The goal is to consolidate Tricare Prime with the DOD's two other options, Tricare Standard and Tricare Extra to form a consolidated plan starting in January 2016. Customers who use providers outside DOD's network would pay much higher out-of-pocket costs than in-network providers, notes Federal News Radio.
Under DOD's 2015 budget proposal, active duty service members in the Tricare program would continue to receive healthcare at no charge, but their family members and retirees would see some fees and copays rise.
"But I want to make clear that the Tricare benefit will remain one of the most comprehensive benefits in this country and it will modernize the program for the first time in many years," said Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Jonathan Woodson, MD., according to Military.com.
Medicare-eligible retirees would pay 0.5 percent of their annual pension starting in 2015 and then 2 percent of their pension by 2019 for Medigap coverage, FierceGovernment previously reported. In 2019, DOD would cap the fees at $614 per year for most retirees and $814 for retired admirals and generals, according to Federal News Radio.
The DOD's proposal also would increase the share of costs Tricare beneficiaries pay, taking them from 9.3 percent of the department's total tab to 11 percent, according to Military.com.