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New TRICARE Prime Enrollees Pay Adjusted Annual Fees

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"We are committed to offering the best possible health care system for our entire military family," said Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. Jonathan Woodson. "This modest annual fee increase allows us to responsibly manage our costs in line with other secretary of defense initiatives announced earlier this year."

The change was authorized by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in February 2011 as part of his effort to responsibly manage military healthcare costs. Since 1995, the secretary of defense has been permitted by law to set a premium, deductible, copayment, or other charge for health care, including enrollment fees. The TRICARE benefit is among the nation's most affordable health care plans. All service members, military retirees and their eligible family members have TRICARE benefits regardless of prior health conditions.

The fiscal 2012 fee change amounts to a slightly higher annual fee of $260 for members and $520 for members and family. Annual fees for retirees enrolled in TRICARE Prime prior to Oct. 1, 2011, will remain at $230 and $460 until Oct. 1, 2012. Retirees in TRICARE Prime have a catastrophic cap of $3,000 and there are no changes to low TRICARE Prime co-pays. Survivors of active duty deceased sponsors and medically retired services members and their dependents will be exempt from the increase, effective from the time they renew their enrollment or first enroll in Prime.

"The department is committed to maintaining the same unique health care protection we have always offered our warriors, both current and retired," said Woodson. "To sustain our military health system we are working hard to streamline, become more efficient, and achieve cost savings. Together we can manage our costs responsibly and continue to provide care for our service members, retirees and their families."

Information about TRICARE Prime enrollment fees can be found at http://www.tricare.mil/costs .

New TRICARE Prime Enrollees Pay Adjusted Annual Fees [ http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=14827 ]