This article by Amy Bushatz and Jim Absher first appeared on Military.com, the premier resource for the military and veteran community. TRICARE users of all kinds can take MOAA's TRICARE Survey; learn more here.
If you are a reservist, young adult or transitioning service member enrolled in Tricare or a transition health insurance plan, you will probably soon be paying more for your health insurance. And an enrollment change could impact how much some users must pay up front.
Tricare just released the 2020 rates for the Tricare Reserve Select (TRS) and Tricare Retired Reserve (TRR) programs, as well as for the Tricare Young Adult and Continued Health Care Benefit Programs. Like almost everything else, the prices will mainly be increasing.
[TAKE ACTION: Ask Your Lawmaker to Protect Military Medicine]
Reservists enrolled in the Tricare Reserve Select program will see their monthly payments increase from $42.83 to $44.17 for single coverage and from $218.01 to $228.27 for family coverage.
Retired reservists who haven't turned 60 and are covered under the Tricare Retired Reserve program will benefit from a rate decrease in 2020. The monthly premium for a single retiree will decrease from $451.51 to $444.37, and those with family coverage will see a decrease from $1,083.40 to $1,066.26.
College-age dependents enrolled in the Tricare Young Adult program will see an increase in their monthly premiums; however, the amounts vary depending on which option they are covered under. For those using Tricare Young Adult Select, the monthly payment will go from $214 to $228, and those using Tricare Young Adult Prime will see the monthly payment increase from $358 to $376.
Recently discharged members with temporary health insurance under the Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP) will see their premiums increase by the largest amount. Those who have single coverage will be hit with a premium increase from $363.25 to $388.25 each month, and those electing family coverage will pay an additional $56.75 each month, increasing their premiums from $818.25 to $875.
[RELATED: Key DoD Family Advisory Council Flags Military Medical Cuts as Top Priority]
While these rates may seem high, they pale in comparison to what civilians pay for health insurance. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the average monthly health insurance premium for single coverage in 2018 was $575; for family coverage, it was $1,634.
Tricare Enrollment Payment Changes
Meanwhile, Tricare officials recently changed the amount those newly enrolling in Tricare Reserve Select or Retired Reserve are required to pay. In the past, those enrolling in the programs were required to pay two months of premiums in advance, regardless of when in the month they enrolled. For retiree families, that meant dishing out about $2,200 at once, while others owed $440.
Now, Tricare has removed that requirement. Instead, it has allowed its regional contractors to determine whether they want to collect premiums up front.
"Depending on the beneficiary's method of payment, and the day of the month the request is made, the regional contractor will determine how long it will take to set up and process automated monthly payments and how much advance payment is required," Tricare officials said in a statement. "We believe this will improve TRS customer satisfaction and ease their transition from active-duty status."
Other articles by Military.com:
US Troops Want to Keep Deploying to Afghanistan, Enlisted Leaders Say
US Withdrawal from International Mail Treaty Could Alter Delivery for APO-FPO Addresses
Coast Guard Brings Haul of Seized Cocaine to San Diego