Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress [Updated April 6, 2007]   [open pdf - 70KB]

From the Summary: "In its FY2007 budget submission, the Department of Defense (DOD) proposed increases in Tricare enrollment fees, deductibles, and pharmacy co-payments for retired beneficiaries not yet eligible for Medicare. The raises were justified by DOD as necessary to constrain the growth of health care spending as a proportion of the overall defense budget in the next decade. Many beneficiaries argued that the proposed hikes were unfair and unnecessary. The proposed increases found favor in neither chamber and ultimately the FY2007 Defense Authorization Act (P.L. [Public Law] 109-364) prohibited increases in premiums, deductibles and co-payments prior to September 30, 2007. However, the Act also established a DOD Task Force to look at the costs of sustaining Defense health care over the long term. The Government Accountability Office (GAO), in cooperation with the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), was also tasked to review of the budgetary implications of DOD health care. For FY2008, the Administration has based its budget submission on the assumption of fee increases. However, the House budget resolution (H.Con.Res. 99) passed on March 29, 2007 reflected opposition to fee increases. This report will be updated as needed."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RS22402
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