Sep 12 2013
The recent headlines on the Affordable Care Act have generated a lot of questions regarding the impact this act has on TRICARE beneficiaries. Including this question copied below, received on September 10th, 2013:
How [does] Obama Care affect …Tricare for life. Many of us are confused on this subject.
We have written about this issue here and on other MOAA outlets several times. MOAA members, because they primarily use TRICARE, are generally exempt from the Affordable Care Act. At the urging of MOAA and others, Congress passed separate legislation, H.R.4887 TRICARE Affirmation Act, specifically exempting TRICARE and VA beneficiaries from any potential for being taxed for not having coverage or being required to participate in pooled coverage.
For the longer term, the main potential issues we see for MOAA members are:
1 – Whether the expanded pool of the healthcare-eligible population will at some point create access problems due to more beneficiaries needing to see the same number of doctors, and
2 – The uncertainty over what impact potential future Medicare cost-saving initiatives may have on all Medicare-eligibles
It’s important to note that the potential for Medicare cutbacks was going to continue regardless of the health reform act, since rising Medicare costs pose a huge budget challenge in any scenario.
MOAA will continue to stay updated on this issue, and if there are any changes, they will be posted in our weekly Legislative Update. If you do not receive the update, you can register for it here. Eligible officers and survivors can join for free at the BASIC level and others can complete a registration to get on the mailing list.