posted on March 05, 2012 15:41
The President’s Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) Budget, released on 13 February 2012, contained numerous cuts to Military programs as well as adjustments to pay and compensation to Military Personnel. The most alarming of which, were the rate changes to the TRICARE health system.
Contact your Senators and Representatives and urge them to “keep the promise” made to our Sailors and veterans’ in regards to their healthcare system and take this into consideration with any future consideration of the FY13 Budget Request.
Details (To Be Put Into Letter):
The Administration’s FY13 Budget Request implements numerous changes to the existing TRICARE system, including increases to TRICARE Prime Enrollment fees in all three tiers. In addition, it institutes an annual TRICARE Standard Enrollment fee to be phased in over a five year period and then indexed to increases in National Health Expenditures(NHE) after FY17 (for example $0 in FY12 to $70 in FY13 for individuals and $0 in FY12 to $140 in for families). The deductibles for TRICARE Standard would also increase from $150 in FY12 to $160 in FY13 for individuals and from $300 in FY12 to $320 in FY13 for families. TRICARE for Life (TFL) would also see an implementation of enrollment fees for all three tiers going from $0 for all three for FY12 to $35 for Tier 1, $75 for Tier 2 and $115 for Tier 3 for FY13. In total, the FY13 Budget Request contains $48.7 billion for the entire DOD Unified Medical Budget to support the Military Health System (MHS), which is a difference of $4.1 billion less than the $52.8 billion that was enacted for FY12.
These proposed increases, which require Congressional approval, are part of the Pentagon’s plan to cut $487 billion in spending and seeks to save $1.8 billion from the TRICARE system in the FY13 Budget, and $12.9 billion by 2017. These rate increases amount to an overall change of 30% to 78% increase in TRICARE premiums for the first year and explodes for a five year span increase of 94% to 345%, more than three times current levels! These changes raise concerns amongst the Military community about the impact this will have on recruiting and maintaining a high quality all volunteer military force. These benefits have been instrumental in recruiting qualified servicemen and women and keeping them in uniform.
As Congress begins hearings in the coming weeks on the subject of Military Personnel benefits and the MHS, recruitment and retention of our servicemen and women must be on the forefront of deliberations so as to “keep the promises” made when they entered the Armed Forces and not ‘civilianize’ the Military healthcare.
Use the “Contact Congress
” feature to immediately email and/or write to your Senators and Representatives. Use the ‘Details’ section as a sample letter for our “Contact Congress
You can e-mail the ‘Details’ section or edit as you desire. This is the quickest and most effective method of expressing your views to Congress. Also, contact friends and family and urge them to use Contact Congress as well. Please direct any questions concerning this issue to our Director of Legislation, Anthony Wallis, at 703-548-5800 or at Anthony.Wallis@ausn.org