RAO Davao City

United States Military Retiree Activities Office Davao City, Philippines


Posted by Service Officer on August 14th, 2008

Families of some active-duty Reserve and National Guard members will get a break on paying annual deductibles associated with the military’s health care system, according to a final rule (http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/E8-18597.htm) published 12 AUG in the Federal Register. The rule, which was proposed in AUG 06 and took effect on 12 AUG makes permanent the Defense Department’s authority to waive the annual TRICARE deductibles for eligible dependents of reservists and Guard members who are called to active duty for more than 30 days. It applies to those who choose to participate in TRICARE Standard or Extra, rather than TRICARE Prime. By law, the TRICARE Standard (or Extra) deductible for active-duty family members is $150 per individual and $300 per family each fiscal year. For those at the E-4 level and below, the deductibles are $50 per individual and $100 per family. Dependents are defined as spouses and children. In addition, the final regulation increases the amount that can be billed to out-of-network health care providers. “This helps reserve and Guard family members to be able to continue to see civilian providers with whom they have established relations and promotes access and clinically appropriate continuity of care,” the notice stated. The rule makes permanent authority exercised by Defense through the extension of a demonstration project. The fiscal 2005 National Defense Authorization Act gave the department that authority and waived certain TRICARE deductibles for active-duty members of reserve components. The Federal Register notice stated that an independent government estimate concluded that the annual cost for implementing the rule would be less than $30 million. [Source: GovExec.com Today 13 Aug 08 ++]

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