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LEGISLATIVE NEWS

 

                     


The American Legion Needs Your Help Protecting TRICARE Benefits!

 

Take Action!

Contact Your Members of Congress Now

 

(October 23, 2017) Last year, Congress increased TRICARE costs for military retirees and their families who enter the military after January 1, 2018.

Current military retirees and their family members are exempt from these cost increases. However, Congress is now considering legislation that would remove this exemption.

As of now, the Senate is primarily pushing for these changes.

This proposal would result in higher TRICARE fees for military retirees, including pharmacy copayments, which are already three times higher than they were in 2011, and enrollment costs for certain plans, such as the new Select plan, would nearly triple.

There is an inherent cost of fielding a professional, all-volunteer military, and the promise of a modest stipend immediately upon retirement and inexpensive health care are keys to retaining our best and brightest service members.

The American Legion will not stand idly by while Congress continues to rob Peter to pay Paul and we need your assistance in telling Congress “No!”

Take Action: Contact your Senators and Representative to demand that they reject any proposal that would result in TRICARE fee increases for current beneficiaries, and let them know that veterans have paid for their benefits through blood, sweat, and tears many times over.

(If received by email, scroll up and click the Take Action link, otherwise see below and send a prepared message to Congress. Also, Like this on Facebook.)

 


Legislation to Eliminate Copayment Requirements for Essential Preventive Medications and Medical Services for Veterans Using VA Health Care

 

Representative Lee Zeldin (NY) and Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL) introduced the Veterans Preventive Health Coverage Fairness Act (H.R. 1100 and S. 1161), legislation that would eliminate requirements for veterans to make copayments for medical care and medications related to preventive health services delivered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  This legislation would place VA in parity with the Department of Defense, as well as meeting the Affordable Care Act's standard relative to copayments for preventive health services for private sector health plans.
 
For veterans required to make copayments, VA charges $15 for basic care and $50 for specialty care visits and between $5-$11 for medication.  With the passage of this legislation, veterans would continue to benefit from VA preventive health care and wellness services, but without the cost sharing.  The VA health care system has been a leader in quality care and promoting the benefits of preventative services for veterans-many who are life-long patients. With its medically complex patient population, coordinating a comprehensive array of preventive and wellness services has helped VA contain costs and improve health outcomes for veterans.  However, VA has been out of step in requiring copayments for health maintenance and preventive care services.  
 
The United States Preventive Services Task Force, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and the Health Resources and Services Administration have made suggestions for preventative services including vaccines and women's preventive health care - such as mammograms, screenings for cervical cancer, prenatal care, and other services that show significant benefit in disease prevention. These services are now routinely provided free of charge in private sector care plans. 
 
 Veterans, through their patriotism, devotion, and sacrifices, have already paid the price for their health care, and as a grateful nation, our government should fully honor its moral obligation to care for veterans and generously provide them benefits and health care entirely without charge. 
 
Please contact your elected officials and ask that they cosponsor and pass this important legislation-H.R. 1100 or S. 1161