TRICARE contract plus for Standard users

Tom Philpott Military healthcare beneficiaries will be mailed information packets this year, explaining benefits under TRICARE, the triple-option health plan. The mailing will coincide with the June-through-November phase-in of new TRICARE support contracts, which will merge 11 stateside TRICARE regions into three, require all contractors to operate under the same rules and set contractor performance […]

The big league players need their pensions as well

Editorial O ver a thousand men who played big league baseball before 1980 won’t be getting any pension or medical benefits from former management, a federal judge ruled in a little-publicized hearing last month. Before 1980, a big leaguer who did not complete four years of service was not vested for pension or benefits. As […]

Initiatives by Congress may be too costly

By Tom Philpott:Military Update A senior Defense official has warned Congress against creating an entitlement-rich military the nation cannot afford. Charles S. Abell, principal deputy under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, was asked last week while testifying before the Total Force Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee to list a few issues […]

County releases salary records

By Jack King Curry County officials on Friday supplied employee salary and benefits information as requested by the Clovis News Journal — but the paper’s officials said Monday their dispute is not over. The newspaper last week sued the county for release of the salary information, contending it is public record. County Attorney Stephen Doerr […]

‘Economy doctor” Greenspan a boon to U.S. market

Freedom Newspapers Alan Greenspan is today more than just the powerful chairman of the Federal Reserve, whose every utterance can send stock markets soaring or swooning and aftershocks rippling through the global economy. Whether one approves or not, he’s become a sort of grandfatherly gadfly, frequently straying from the dry, esoteric business of tweaking interest […]

Take advantage of new health benefits

By Tom Phillpott: Military Update activated reservists, have left thousands of reserve families unable to take full advantage yet of some new pre- and post-mobilization healthcare benefits. The unusual circumstances have TRICARE officials advising reservists to save medical receipts, explanations of benefits and other documents that could be useful weeks or months from now in […]

Congress, DOD differ on scope of restored widow benefits

By Tom Philpott The current controversy is over a provision in the Veterans Benefits Act of 2003, which was signed into law Dec. 16. For years, widows who remarried lost their DIC entitlement. But Section 101 of the new benefit package (Public Law 108-183) allows veterans’ surviving spouses who remarry at 57 or older to […]

Congress making extra effort

Tom Philpott The more difficult U.S. operations become in Iraq, the more conscientious Congress becomes in addressing weaknesses and inequities in military pay and benefits programs — or so it seems. Three days after insurgents downed an Army helicopter, killing 15 U.S. soldiers and injuring 21, Congress passed tax relief legislation for military families. Two […]

Congress should end veterans’ disability tax

Freedom Newspapers Congress may be close to correcting an unfair policy that reduces the retirement pay of disabled military veterans by the amount they receive in service disability payments. If those published reports are true, that would be good news for retired veterans who devoted and risked their lives to preserve and protect our freedoms […]

Working seniors give ‘retirement’ new definition

Freedom Newspapers T he face of retirement in America is changing dramatically, as many seniors put to rest the idea that the “golden years” mean saying goodbye to work and becoming a permanent fixture in a comfortable recliner. AARP recently announced the findings of its 2003 Working in Retirement Survey, which showed that many seniors […]

Veterans focus on benefits

By Darrell Todd Maurina The New Mexico Secretary of Veterans Affairs has agreed to work with the Clovis United Veterans Council to draft a letter to Gov. Bill Richardson asking that he endorse “concurrent receipt” of military retiree pensions and disability benefits. Veterans Affairs Secretary John Garcia met with veterans in Clovis Saturday afternoon. Obtaining […]

Medicare not good enough for Congressmen

In a glaring example of Congressional hypocrisy, federal lawmakers are working to ensure that when they retire they won’t have to live under the Medicare drug reforms they’re attempting to enact for mere commoners. The House recently passed legislation to guarantee that federal retirees — future retired members of Congress included — receive comparable health […]