TRICARE young adult fees costly

Adult children of military members and retirees now can buy TRICARE health insurance coverage out to age 26, and that coverage can be purchased back to Jan. 1 this year. The cost is steep, however, with the premium set at $186 a month for coverage under the fee-for-service TRICARE Standard plan or the preferred provider […]

Budget proposal raises premiums

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has signaled that the department’s fiscal 2012 budget request to be sent to Congress early next year will include recommendations to raise TRICARE premiums for some beneficiaries. If past proposals are a reliable guide, the target of higher fees is likely to be military retirees rather than active duty families. The […]

VA officials cutting insurance premiums

American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON — Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced April 29 that military personnel insuring their families under the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance program will have reduced out-of-pocket expenses beginning July 1. “VA (officials hope) these reductions will allow more military personnel to obtain affordable life insurance coverage for their […]

Rep. Luj

Washington, DC — Today, Congressman Ben Ray Luj

Initiative would improve health benefit

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Every drilling reservist and National Guard member would have access to a military health plan for a reasonable monthly premium under an initiative endorsed last week by the House Armed Services Committee. The improved TRICARE Reserve Select benefit, which senior Defense officials oppose as too expensive, would take effect in […]

Companies have right to regulate workers’ habits

Freedom Newspapers What you do on your own time increasingly looks like it could be your employer’s business. Smokers are the focus right now as businesses look at ways to contain health-care costs, with some companies increasing the insurance premiums of smokers or even firing them. In Ohio, Marysville-based Scotts Miracle-Gro has told employees who […]

Retirees getting second chance at program

By Tom Philpott: Military Update More than 800,000 military retirees who declined the Survivor Benefit Plan at retirement will get another chance to buy into a much-improved program, starting this fall. But delayed enrollment won’t be cheap, particularly for retirees who left service during the last six years. Congress voted last year not only to […]

High court ends retirees’ quest for free care

By Tom Philpott A seven-year court challenge by elderly military retirees, who say the government reneged on promises of free lifetime health care, came to an end June 2 when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear their appeal. In refusing to accept the case for review, the justices let stand a 2002 decision by […]