A total of 38 military hospitals across the United States will stop serving military families and retirees, requiring them to go off-base for care and pay out of pocket, according to a report.
Military.com cited a 12-page memo sent to commanders of 50 military treatment facilities (MTFs) that indicated that the changes would be made as part of a review of military hospital operations and system consolidation, which was ordered by Congress in 2016.
The move would increase focus on active duty service members while cutting 18,000 uniformed medical personnel, which would consequently result in cutting the number of family members and retirees who can receive care, according to the report.
Military.com quoted the memo as saying that the move is being made to focus more on the readiness of the combined force due to the “challenging array of threats around the world.”
There is no indication of a timeline on when these changes would be implemented, or what specific facilities would be included. The memo estimates that the move would affect around 200,000 beneficiaries, and the facilities would stop offering pharmacy services to those not on active duty, resulting in higher out-of-pocket costs.