Saturday, May 1, 2010

Health Care Reform Will Change Tricare as We Know It

Please pass on to all your military retired friends so they can be educated on how the "health care reform" will change our Tricare benefits.

Retirees would lose the Medicare for life benefit and would have to pay. Retirees would lose TRICARE as a total care package. It seems like when we were told we would be allowed to keep TRICARE, it’s really wasn’t the whole truth.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has already drafted proposed legislation that would basically reduce our TRICARE for Life benefits to a system whereby we pay deductibles and co-pays up to $6,301 the first year for you and your spouse, with future years being indexed to increase with inflation.

What can we do? The article below, obtained from an Air Force Association and written by BG Bob Clements, best describes what we can do.

Please read it and check the links for CBO language. Remember TRICARE For Life (TFL) was instituted to correct the broken promise that military retirees would receive free healthcare coverage for life and it covers the Medicare co-pay. Now a heavy assault has begun on Veterans'/Retirees' benefits, most probably to pay for other programs our President promised during the campaign.

The one item of most interest to Retired Military is in Article 189. If approved by Congress the first assault wave would hit in 2011 and would hit hard. It would initiate cost sharing to require retirees to pay the first $525 of medical cost and 50% of the next $4,725 for a first year cost of $2,888 per person. It would be indexed to increase with inflation. A reason given for this action is "overuse" by Retirees.

The following has been added to the Congressional Budget Office Web Site

1) double click on the above URL
2) click on PDF
3) click on the binoculars
4) do a search for TFL.

Message (partially cut for space considerations) from BG Bob Clements, USAF Ret (P38 Bob):

I will guarantee if you sit around on your behind and do nothing about it as they bring these options forward this coming year, you will lose one of the best healthcare benefits that the Medicare eligible retired military have.

It is short of the promises made that we fought so hard for back in the late 90s and early 2000s but it is still the best healthcare program that anyone in the United States has, bar none. Military retirees are one of those channels of least resistance noted for sitting around, doing nothing, and waiting for ole Joe to do it for them. You had better wake up. Your medical benefits are prime target. If you lose them, you have nobody to blame but yourself.

HEALTH CARE WILL EVENTUALLY BECOME THE DOMINATING FACTOR IN YOUR LIFE. Remember that . . . . it will impact you big time with the utmost in cruelty unless you are fortunate enough to die from a heart attack or get run over by a truck. The service organizations will put up a fight, but, they will need your help and can't do it by themselves.

I hope this makes it clear as to what you can expect if you do nothing. To show you how stupid these professionals can be at times just read the data on the noted sites closely. You will see that in spite of the MTFs (Military Treatment Facility) need to get patients back to keep their doctors busy and the hospitals from going to clinic status, these people from OMB would employ a means to keep retirees from using MTF facilities by charging them a fee for services.

Remember- TFL is an "Earned Benefit" that's been granted by a previous Congress.

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