This New House Bill Would Help Protect the TRICARE Pharmacy Benefit

This New House Bill Would Help Protect the TRICARE Pharmacy Benefit
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Hundreds of TRICARE beneficiaries have reached out to MOAA citing problems caused by the shrinking TRICARE retail pharmacy network. Now, a new House bill will require a DoD report on the network to Congress – a report offering the data lawmakers need to better understand the reduced network’s impact on military families, retirees and their families, and survivors.


MOAA recently heard from a retired Air Force nurse concerned about her family’s ability to get acute medications during the winter months. Her rural Colorado town has three pharmacies, but none currently in network with TRICARE. The nearest network pharmacy is now a 40-minute drive via a mountain pass, a route with frequent closures due to heavy snow and avalanche control.


Her family now faces barriers to accessing prescription medications – not because her town lacks retail pharmacies, but because the narrowed TRICARE network has eroded her benefit.


[TAKE ACTION: Ask Your House Member to Co-Sponsor H.R. 5150]


A bill introduced by Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), H.R. 5150, requires a detailed report on the pharmacy network, which has been cut by more than 13,000 locations since 2022. This move created access challenges for rural residents, the elderly, and those with serious chronic medical conditions; this report will provide the data behind these challenges – data MOAA can leverage in our advocacy efforts.


Neguse introduced the standalone bill after successfully submitting the same legislative language as a House floor amendment to the FY 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). MOAA appreciates his efforts on this issue – the standalone bill allows member offices not directly involved in the NDAA process to signal their support for a TRICARE pharmacy network report by co-sponsoring the legislation.


Thousands of MOAA members already have reached out to their lawmakers seeking their support for a comprehensive report on pharmacy access, responding to recent MOAA advocacy campaigns and the stories of their fellow beneficiaries. Even if you’ve used our Legislative Action Center to make your voice heard on this issue, it’s important to do so again as the NDAA and other year-end bills like H.R. 5150 face procedural logjams.


Click here to send a message today, and be sure you’re subscribed to the weekly version of The MOAA Newsletter for the latest updates on the pharmacy network and other military health care issues.



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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.