Veterans May Face Higher Health Costs: Pentagon proposal shifts fees to retirees
Retired military veterans under age 65 and their families would likely pay hundreds of dollars more each year for health care coverage if Congress approves a 2017 budget proposed by the Pentagon. Those who use in-network providers under TRICARE, the military health care program, would likely see an increase of $500-600, according to Military Officers Association of America. Patients who use out-of-network providers would likely face an increase of $1,000 a year estimates the group, which is concerned about the plan.
Pentagon officials say higher fees are needed to meet the escalating costs of health care which has more than doubled than 2001.
When TRICARE was fully inplemented in 1999, a working retiree's family of 3 who used civilian care contributed on average 27% of total health care costs, officials estimated. Today that percentage runs less than 9%. Congress has resisted big increases in patienty fees for TRICARE, but the Pentagon says the time has cone for veterans to share more of the cost.