The DoD unveiled its budget proposal for 2017 and requested to increase the cost of health care for military retirees under the age of 65 by an average of 25%. The proposal also combines the 3 current primary TRICARE options into 2 basic plans: TRICARE Select and TRICARE Choice. Under these new plans, retirees must pay a yearly enrollment fee through an open-enrollment process regardless of which option they choose.
Retirees currently using TRICARE Prime pay $282.60 per year for a single person or $565.20 for a family, while Standard requires no enrollment fee. The new system would require retirees to pay a $350 enrollment fee for individuals or $700 for families for TRICARE Select, and $450 for individuals or $900 for families for Tricare Choice.
According to the DoD the changes are part of an effort to “balance the needs of beneficiaries with requirements to maintain military medical readiness by incentivizing care at the military treatment facilities through lower fees and copays, as well as improving access to military care.”
The proposal also highlights an increase in deductibles, with active duty families under E4 paying $100 for an individual or $200 for families, while all other users would pay $300 for an individual or $600 for a family. However, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act, there is no cost to clinical preventative care.
The increases are part of the DoD's budget request of $524 billion. The request includes no major commissary or housing allowance reform requests, unlike past proposals.