National Patient Advocate Foundation Praises Extension of TRICARE Coverage to Military Dependants

New Provision Will Mirror Broader Healthcare Reform, Cover Up to 750,000 Young Adults

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) - a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the mission of creating avenues of improved patient access to health care through public policy reform at the state and federal levels - today praised the Obama Administration for signing into law a provision in the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act (HR 6523) that will extend TRICARE coverage to dependants of military service members and retirees until the age of twenty-six. This provision will cover an estimated 750,000 young adults.

"During the 2010 healthcare debate, we vocalized our concern about the lack of coverage for dependants of military service members," said Nancy Davenport-Ennis, Founder and CEO of NPAF. "At the Patient Advocate Foundation, our sister organization, we heard from numerous military family members concerned about the lack of coverage for dependants through TRICARE, so we are excited that this provision was included in the National Defense Authorization Act."

Prior to the President's signing of the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, which passed unanimously by Congress in December, TRICARE coverage for military dependants was specifically exempt from the new coverage mandates enacted under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Previously, health insurers could remove young adults from their parents' policies due to age and/or student status, leaving many without insurance. The establishment of the new coverage protections for military dependants and the ACA provisions will help address insurability for children after college. Since not all employers provide coverage and many young adults cannot afford coverage on their own, young adults in their twenties account for the majority of the uninsured population.

"By signing this provision into law, Congress and the Administration have taken an important step in protecting the families of our men and women in uniform," said Nancy Davenport-Ennis, Founder and CEO of NPAF. "NPAF will continue to work diligently with the Administration and Congress to ensure that patients of all ages across the nation are protected from healthcare discrimination and are afforded the added security of essential healthcare coverage."

National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) is a national, non-profit organization that is dedicated to the mission of creating avenues of patient access through improved access to, and reimbursement for, evolving therapies, therapeutic agents, and devices through policy and legislative reform at the state and federal levels. Our mission is shaped by the experiences of the patients served through our companion organization, Patient Advocate Foundation.  For more information see

SOURCE National Patient Advocate Foundation