TRICARE and VA Health Care: Impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) [February 11, 2014]   [open pdf - 263KB]

"The 111th Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148; ACA), which was later amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152; HCERA), and is hereinafter referred to as ACA. In general, ACA did not make any significant changes to the Department of Defense (DOD) TRICARE program or to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. However, many have sought clarification as to whether certain provisions in ACA, such as a mandate for most individuals to have health insurance, or extending dependent coverage up to age 26, would apply to TRICARE and VA health care beneficiaries. To address some of these concerns, Congress has introduced and/or enacted legislation. The TRICARE Affirmation Act (P.L. 111-159), signed into law on April 26, 2010, affirms that TRICARE satisfies the minimum essential coverage requirement in ACA. Similarly, P.L. 111- 173, signed into law on May 27, 2010, clarifies that the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA), Spina Bifida Health Care Program, and the Children of Women Vietnam Veterans Health Care Program meet the 'minimum essential coverage' requirement under ACA. TRICARE coverage of children was extended to age 26 by the Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (P.L. 111-383)."

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CRS Report for Congress, R41198
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