The Obama administration’s proposed budget seeks to increase enrollment fees for retirees who select TRICARE Prime and begin charging enrollment fees for TRICARE Standard/Extra and TRICARE for Life.
The new enrollment fees would be indexed based on the retiree’s military retirement pay. The current Prime enrollment fee of $539 for family coverage would increase to a minimum of $594 and maximum of $1226 ($1840 for flag officers) by 2018. Fees for single coverage would be half these amounts.
For the first time TRICARE Standard/Extra users would be required to pay an enrollment fee which will start at $70 for single coverage or $140 for family. The fees will reach $290 (individual) and $580 (family) in 2018.
Retirees 65 and older who use the Medicare supplement known as TRICARE for Life would be required to pay as much as $150 a year in 2014. The fees will reach $618 in 2018.
In 2019 and beyond, all TRICARE enrollment fees and deductibles for retirees would increase at the same rate as the annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for military retired pay.
In addition, the budget will continue the last year’s increases in pharmacy co-pays with additional increases phased in to encourage greater use of mail order and generic drugs.
The plan would also change the catastrophic cap by excluding TRICARE enrollment fees from counting toward the cap; and by raising the cap annually by the percentage of retiree COLA.