TRICARE Unchanged by Health Care Ruling, Officials Say
By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 29, 2012 The Supreme Court’s ruling yesterday upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act “has absolutely no impact on our TRICARE program,” a Defense Department spokeswoman said here today.
Navy Cmdr. Leslie Hull-Ryde, spokeswoman for personnel and readiness, explained TRICARE is governed by different statutes than civilian health care and is unaffected by the ruling.
TRICARE is the worldwide health care program for uniformed service members, retirees and their eligible family members.
“TRICARE remains committed to providing the best possible health care to its more than 9.7 million beneficiaries,” Hull-Ryde said.
TRICARE officials released a statement yesterday noting the TRICARE and TRICARE Young Adult programs are authorized by an independent set of statutes, and remain under sole authority of the Defense Department and the secretary of defense.
“TRICARE provides coverage for pre-existing conditions, and serious illnesses; offers an array of preventive care services, with no cost shares; maintains reasonable out-of-pocket costs, with no or low deductibles and copayments; and there are no annual or lifetime caps on coverage,” according to the statement.
TRICARE established a program for young adults in May 2011, as authorized by the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, officials said. TRICARE Young Adult, or TYA, gives eligible uniformed services family members under 26 who are unmarried, and not eligible for their own employer-sponsored health care coverage the option to purchase health insurance under the program.
TRICARE officials said as of May 31, 2012, more than 17,000 beneficiaries are signed up for young adult plans: 11,171 in TYA Standard, and 6,407 in TYA Prime.
Eligible TYA sponsors include active-duty and retired service members, activated National Guard and reserve members, Guard and reserve members using TRICARE Reserve Select, and retired Guard and reserve members using TRICARE Retired Reserve.