Thursday, February 12, 2015

Panel Warns Military's Tricare Health Insurance In 'Death Spiral'

Between the VA and Tricare, the Veterans are the death in the spiral.
The military’s Tricare health insurance is a broken system that is now in a “death spiral” and must be replaced, a congressional review commission told the House on Wednesday.
The insurance has been veering toward less choice and access since it was created and now falls far behind other networks in its number of providers and ability to incorporate new types of medical care, members of the Military Retirement and Compensation Modernization Commission testified before an Armed Services subcommittee.
The testimony is the beginning of hearings on Capitol Hill so lawmakers can consider legislation to overhaul the health coverage, troop retirement system and other compensation that the Pentagon says is growing too expensive to sustain. The Senate has also planned a series of subcommittee hearings to weigh a number of the commission recommendations, including a complete restructuring of 20-year military retirement system.[…]
The commission is proposing replacing the health insurance with a wider selection of private plans for troops and their families, similar to what is offered to civilian employees. It would result in about a $5 increase per year for a policy that costs $535, and would save the military about $6-7 billion per year.
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., said the increased coverage costs would roughly equal the cost of a Starbuck’s latte each year and create more choice of doctors and improve access to care.
The realm of military personnel costs, especially health insurance, is one of the best areas to cut, Speier said.
“We’ve just got to inject a little guts into each of us to do the right thing,” she said.
Thank You Stars and Stripes and Dapandico.

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