Would Increase Tricare Fees

That is another position taken by the 10th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation (see above). Like Pentagon officials, who have tried in vain, so far (thanks to a reluctant Congress), to boost the Tricare Prime fees paid by military retirees under age 65, the QMRC says that the increased costs of military health care have not been passed on to beneficiaries. It also notes that there is an “inherently inequitable” situation in that under-65 retirees are paying the same fees levied in 1996, while 65-and-over retirees who must buy Medicare Part B to participate in Tricare for Life have faced an 85 percent increase in Part B costs. The QMRC recommendation is to link Tricare fees to Medicare Part B premiums, with a 40 percent bump for Prime retirees using the single rate and twice that for the family rate. It would set Tricare Extra/Standard (fee-for-service-type plans) fees at 15 percent of Part B for the single rate and 30 percent for families. The Pentagon still has to get this past Congress.