US

Servicemen and the Health Care Reform Act

BLOG QUESTION:

Can someone research to see why military families have been excluded from the Healthcare Reform act? I wanted to put my 24 and 22 year old daughters on my insurance that I get from Tricare (military health insurance) and I was told that it doesnt apply to Military personnel. What is going on with that?????

Alan Harig

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WE DID A LITTLE DIGGING AND HERE IS YOUR ANSWER

Health Care / Tricare - Military Health Insurance

A. The new law's provision about older children does not automatically apply to Tricare. It would take a change in the law governing Tricare for military families to have this option.

A bill has been introduced in the House to bring Tricare in line with the health care reform law on this issue. It would allow unmarried dependents up to age 26 who still live at home and do not have employer-sponsored health care coverage of their own to remain on their military parent's Tricare plan.

But Tricare coverage for older children would not be free; the bill would require families to pay an undetermined monthly premium. Private-sector insurers also have talked about charging premiums for this type of expanded coverage when it begins in about six months.

Unless the Tricare law is changed, coverage remains limited to dependent children up to age 23 if they are enrolled in college and rely upon their sponsor for more than 50 percent of their financial support, and to age 21 if they are not.

[Source: Tricare and health reform: What it could mean in the long run // http://www.navytimes.com/benefits/health/military_tricare_health_reform_040810w/]

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MORE BACKGROUND...

--The House Education and Labor Committee has issued a definitive statement saying that health care reform proposals being discussed have been specifically designed to shield Tricare, Tricare for Life and Veterans Affairs Department health care programs from any requirements or penalties that could become part of legislation.

Obama met with the American Legion recently and specifically reiterated that Tricare and VA health care provisions will not be changed. He later confirmed those facts in a meeting with several military-related publications, including Military Times.

At the national Veterans of Foreign Wars conference Aug. 17, Obama made similar statements that there will be no reduction in Medicare benefits. Reducing Medicare costs would come from reducing fraud and abuse.

[Source: Tricare Help: How will health care reform really affect your Tricare? // http://www.armytimes.com/benefits/health/offduty_tricarehelp_090709w/]