July 31, 2015
Move over VA.
Weeks after the VA asked Congress for a bailout,
DoD has come forward with its own $2 billion budget crisis. Without
help, DoD could run out of health care funding for outside treatment.
However, unlike the VA, DoD is not only looking at Congress to bail them out, but for beneficiaries to take on even more costs.
was forced to request additional funding to cover a budget shortfall
due to the rising costs of compound medications. DoD revised its
compound medication policy in May to curb costs, but the budget
In its request, DoD says that it is trying to
control costs, pointing to its payment reform initiatives. Missing from
the narrative, however, are the beneficiary initiatives that have
resulted in significant cost savings.
Over the last several years,
TRICARE beneficiaries have been forced to accept several health care
fee increases and policy changes. Specifically, annual pharmacy copay
increases and mandated use of the mail-order pharmacy system for
maintenance medications are two initiatives beneficiaries shoulder.
using the home delivery program and paying more for prescriptions,
TRICARE for Life beneficiaries have significantly contributed to 80
percent of the cost savings that the Defense Health Agency has claimed
this past year.
Coincidentally, DoD's request comes as Congress once again wrestles with raising TRICARE copays.
The request only serves to embolden those in Congress who want to shift costs onto servicemembers, retirees, and their families.
this year, the Pentagon proposed tripling pharmacy copays in its FY16
budget request. House lawmakers rejected the proposal, but the Senate
continues to push for the fee increases.
“DoD is long overdue for
a serious look at its internal structure and needs to get its budget in
control before asking beneficiaries to bail them out,” said MOAA's
Deputy Director of Government Relations, Capt. Kathy Beasley, USN (Ret).
Act now to send your
legislators a MOAA-suggested
message asking them to resist these
shortsighted, budget-driven cuts to military pay, health care and benefits.