The Supreme Court's 2011 decision upholding the Affordable Care Act has little impact on TriCare beneficiaries, and chances are you will see no change to your overall benefits.
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Will Healthcare Mandates Affect TriCare Preventive Care?

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TriCare has always supported your efforts at preventive care, helping you afford to stay healthy before you need medical attention. If you have TriCare, you might find yourself confused by changing government health care mandates.

The Supreme Court's 2011 decision upholding the Affordable Care Act has little impact on TriCare beneficiaries, and chances are you will see no change to your overall benefits.

The Supreme Court ruling upheld the individual mandate under the government's right to tax. This will have no impact on TriCare customers because not only was TriCare omitted from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it was also protected under separate legislation.

The TriCare Affirmation Act was signed in 2010 to quell concerns about health care reform among TriCare users under the Affordable Care Act. The 2010 act explicitly stated that TriCare beneficiaries and Defense Department civilian non-appropriated-fund employees, were not subject to penalties for lacking private insurance that are part of the broader health care reform law.

Additional legislation, the TriCare Dependent Coverage Extension Act, created TriCare Young Adult, a premium-based program that extends health benefits for adult children of TriCare beneficiaries. TYA is similar to a health care reform provision allowing adult children up to age 26 to be covered by their parent's health care policies if they meet certain criteria.

Many of these provisions passed as a result of health care reform will remain, such as Tricare Young Adult. Tricare and Tricare Young Adult are governed by an independent set of statutes and remain under sole authority of the Defense Department and the secretary of defense.

Regular Tricare covers unmarried children up to age 21, or age 23 if they are enrolled as full-time college students. Tricare Young Adult extends benefits to unmarried children under 26 who are ineligible for employer-provided health insurance.

The Affordable Care Act also includes a special enrollment window for Medicare Part B that applied to older military retirees enrolled in Tricare for Life; the law waives a late enrollment penalty - 10 percent for each 12-month period in which a beneficiary could have enrolled in Part B but didn't - for military retirees, spouses, dependent children and survivors.

As of 2012. more than 17,000 beneficiaries were enrolled in Tricare Young Adult: 11,171 in TYA Standard and 6,407 in TYA Prime. In 2012, Standard users paid $176 per month in premiums, plus co-payments and deductibles; Prime beneficiaries paid $201 a month and additional fees for hospitalizations and special services.

TriCare remains one of the most comprehensive and affordable health care solutions around, another way to say thank you to our military servicemembers and military families.



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