This week, the Department of Defense announced how much TRICARE Prime enrollees will pay in enrollment fees for FY2013.
The fees for the new year were limited by a MOAA-championed provision in the FY2012 Defense Authorization Act that capped annual Prime fee adjustments at the retired pay COLA percentage. The new law limited the Prime fee hike for next year to 3.6% – the same rate as the 2012 COLA.
The new fees for retirees, survivors and family members under 65 will be as follows, effective October 1, 2012:
All Prime enrollees paying fees (active duty enrollees pay no fee) will pay the FY 2013 rates EXCEPT that the following categories will be kept at the same rate they paid in FY2012:
- Survivors of members who died on active duty
- Retirees who received a medical (chapter 61) retirement from their parent service
The exceptions apply only to the listed beneficiaries who were already paying fees before Oct 1, 2012.
Beneficiaries in these categories who enroll in Prime for the first time after September 30, 2012 will pay the new FY 2013 rate, and then their fees will be frozen at that rate for future years.
These exceptions are not specified in the law, but are being made as a matter of DoD policy.
MOAA already has pointed out the inequity of excluding from the rate freeze other categories of survivors and disabled retirees whose circumstances may be equally deserving of rate protection.