TRICARE Fees Go Up in October

August 28, 2015

TRICARE beneficiaries will see an increase in health care fees starting in October.   

Beginning Oct 1, TRICARE Prime enrollment fees will be $565 for a family and $282 for a single person.  

The increases will affect military families and retirees under age 65.   

Increases to TRICARE enrollment fees are based on the annual cost of living adjustment for retired military pay.

TRICARE Fee Increase

Surviving family members of sponsors who died on active duty, and medically retired servicemembers and their family members, are exempt from the fee increases.  

Since 2011, beneficiaries have seen TRICARE Prime enrollment fees increase by 23 percent, double the rate of inflation over the same period. Pharmacy copays vary by class, but over the same time span, beneficiaries have seen a 60 percent increase in medication costs.  

After freezing annual TRICARE fees for 13 consecutive years, defense planners tried for several years to play catch up by proposing rate increases up to 300 and 400 percent over a five year period. MOAA argued that such a dramatic spike in fees could financially devastate retired military families.  

In an attempt to prevent disproportionate increases, MOAA successfully convinced Congress to index TRICARE Prime enrollment fees to COLA versus health care inflation in the FY12 defense bill. In the FY14 defense bill, MOAA secured another legislative win by getting Congress to tie pharmacy fee increases to COLA as well.   

However, when it comes to pharmacy fees, Congress hasn’t been able to follow its own law. In addition to last year’s disproportionate pharmacy fee increase above inflation, Congress is now considering increasing pharmacy fees by 66 to 75 percent over the next decade.  

“Beneficiaries are paying enough,” said Capt. Kathy Beasley, USN (Ret), MOAA’s Deputy Director for Government Relations. “Congress needs to look at other ways to control health care costs before trying to pass the buck to military families.”  

Take Action. Send your elected officials a MOAA-suggested message asking them to prevent steep pharmacy fee increases in this year’s defense bill.