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Ex-Military Could Pay Billions More For Healthcare

From Government Executive:

CBO: Increasing TRICARE Fees Could Save Government Billions

Military retirees under 65 paid 16 percent less out-of-pocket for health care in 2012 than in 1996.

By Kellie Lunney | July 15, 2013

The government could save billions of dollars annually over the next decade by increasing the amount military retirees and their families pay for health care, according to a new cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.

A new cost estimate undoubtedly requested by Democrats.

The nonpartisan CBO estimated that higher enrollment fees, copayments and deductibles for military retirees in TRICARE Prime and introducing minimum out-of-pocket costs for Medicare-eligibleTRICARE for Life enrollees — the program for retirees age 65 and older — would yield much greater savings from 2014 to 2023 than other proposed changes to the military’s health care system

Notice how they put this. The government might be ‘saving’ billions, but raising these fees and cutting deductibles are going to cost the military and their families billions.

The military’s massive health insurance program offers millions of service members, retirees and their dependents quality care at relatively low cost. That’s what the government aimed for when it created the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services in 1966, now known as TRICARE.

1996 is one year after Medicare/Medicaid were implemented.

But the price of that success has been high for Uncle Sam: The $53 billion program now consumes roughly 10 percent of the Pentagon’s nonwar budget. By 2030, CBO estimates TRICARE will eat up more than 14 percent of Defense’s budget

So what? How is that any different from what has happened with Medicare? In fact, TRICARE pales in comparison to Medicare. So should we raise the fees and lower the deductibility for Medicare?

“In 2012, retiree families paid less than one-fifth as much for their care as civilian counterparts with employment-based insurance,” said the estimate from Carla Tighe Murray, a senior analyst in CBO’s national security division.

Military retirees enrolled in TRICARE Prime paid about $965 in annual out-of-pocket costs in 2012, compared to the $6,080 annual price tag for civilians enrolled in an HMO plan, according to Murray’s analysis.

How much do they pay compared to the non-defense public sector union member government employees? (Hint: A helluva lot more.)

Lawmakers have been loath to make any changes that would raise health care expenses for military retirees and their families. Congress agreed to raise TRICARE Prime annual enrollment fees for retirees in 2011 — the first time the fees have gone up since 1995…

Remember this the next time you hear Mr. and Mrs. Obama talk about how much they love the military and their families.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, July 16th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Ex-Military Could Pay Billions More For Healthcare”

  1. Noyzmakr says:

    “Support Our Troops” is just a slogan to the left just like “No Justice, No Peace”. They have always hated the military and always will.

  2. GetBackJack says:

    Washington DC is a giant portal to Hell and it’s sucking us all down into it

  3. AcornsRNutz says:

    They could save a good deal more overhauling the pension system in the military and I have several ideas on how. Th healthcare thing is bogus. The wasteful spending in the military is legion, I assure you, but the cuts to our funding is always to stuff we need instead of trimming fat and garbage, most of which is PC greenie horse manure. This is because we are a political pawn and both dems and republicans use the ploy. Everyone gets up in arms about military budgets on both sides of the aisle, and the repubs continue to allow us to get whacked where it matters in order to drum up their base’s votes. I assure you the military could make budget cuts work (not on the scale of our current ones) but our brass will always avoid the hurt to their pets projects and cutting stuff no one cares about when cutting ammo, training and troops will garner more support. I hate to say it but the military as a political machine looks more and more like just another government beauracracy every day. I could go one more with my theories but I might get thrown in jail for them.

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