Here’s What the NDAA Means for Your TRICARE Coverage

Here’s What the NDAA Means for Your TRICARE Coverage
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Each year, MOAA advocates to close TRICARE coverage gaps to ensure the military health care benefit evolves with changes in technology, treatment protocols, and standards set by high quality commercial plans. 


A provision in the recently signed FY 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) adds preconception and prenatal carrier screening coverage as a benefit under the TRICARE program for certain genetic conditions including cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy, fragile X syndrome, Tay-Sachs disease, hemoglobinopathies, and conditions linked with Ashkenazi Jewish descent. This provision brings TRICARE in line with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee Opinion on carrier screening for genetic conditions.


After TRICARE stopped covering lab developed tests (including many diagnostic genetic tests) in 2013, MOAA’s advocacy led to the introduction of the TRICARE Laboratory Developed Test (LDT) demonstration project in 2014. The demonstration provides beneficiary access to LDTs that have been reviewed for safety and effectiveness. The FY 2022 NDAA builds on the project’s progress by ensuring beneficiaries have coverage should they elect carrier screening to assess reproductive risk associated with certain genetic conditions.


Chiropractic Care Progress

TRICARE coverage for chiropractic care is another MOAA priority. Our advocacy has focused on the importance of supporting non-pharmaceutical treatments for chronic pain, closing coverage gaps with Medicare and commercial plans, and accepting the Joint Commission’s addition of chiropractic as a standard of care for pain management.


[RELATED: MOAA's 2021-22 TRICARE Guide]


The House Armed Services Committee report for its mark of the FY 2022 NDAA strongly encourages DoD to expand the TRICARE benefit to include chiropractic care for servicemembers and beneficiaries.


This is not a legislative requirement, so MOAA will build on this momentum by continuing our advocacy on chiropractic coverage, particularly important since the opioid crisis has underscored the risks associated with relying on pharmaceutical treatments for chronic pain.


TRICARE Young Adult

For the remainder of the 117th Congress, MOAA will continue to build support for the Health Care Fairness for Military Families Act, which would extend coverage to young adult dependents and bring TRICARE in line with commercial plan requirements. We regularly hear from families who are disappointed to learn military kids’ coverage is lacking compared to their civilian peers who are covered by their parents’ health plans until age 26.


While the TRICARE Young Adult fix was not included in the FY 2022 NDAA, House leads Reps. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) and Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) urged support for the legislation during the Armed Services full committee markup. On the Senate side, Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) introduced an amendment addressing TYA, but it was not considered when the Senate chose to accept the House-negotiated version as time constraints loomed.


Cost is the main barrier to TRICARE Young Adult parity – MOAA will continue to build support among member offices to overcome this obstacle while ensuring the young adult eligibility expansion is not funded by raising TRICARE fees.


Have you experienced a TRICARE coverage gap? Please let us know at



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About the Author

Karen Ruedisueli
Karen Ruedisueli

Ruedisueli is MOAA’s Director of Government Relations for Health Affairs and also serves as co-chair of The Military Coalition’s (TMC) Health Care Committee. She spent six years with the National Military Family Association, advocating for families of the uniformed services with a focus on health care and military caregivers.