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Fiscal 1999 Health Budget Contains Subvention Clause

By Douglas J. Gillert
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 1998 – As was the case last year, the president's fiscal 1999 budget for the defense health program includes funding for health care to beneficiaries over age 65.

The health plan request of $10.1 billion is $300 million less than last fiscal year's operations and procurement budgets. The new request includes an additional $566 million to fund managed care support contracts for DoD's TRICARE health maintenance plan and direct care in DoD medical treatment facilities.

The fiscal 1999 budget includes a demonstration of Medicare subvention that would allow DoD to demonstrate its ability to provide health care to persons over age 65 who are otherwise eligible for military health care. Participants would enroll in TRICARE Prime and pay the same enrollment and cost-share fees as other Prime enrollees.

The DoD budget estimate also keeps the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences open and funded at historical levels. The university awards medical degrees for physicians, master's degrees for nurses, and other graduate education programs in the biological sciences.

Major program decreases in the health budget request reflect a smaller beneficiary population, one-time expenses in fiscal 1998 associated with TRICARE contract implementation, congressional increases, and savings earned through management initiatives.

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