United States Congress: Stop the proposed move of military retirees to TRICARE Standard
  • Petitioned United States Congress

This petition was delivered to:

United States Congress
President of the United States
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives

United States Congress: Stop the proposed move of military retirees to TRICARE Standard

    1. Russ Fisher
    2. Petition by

      Russ Fisher

      Medina

Of all days to learn of this intent by our elected leaders, it would be Veterans Day.

Defense officials are expected to soon announce that military retirees and their dependents that live more than 40 miles from a military treatment facility or BRAC (base closure) site will lose access to TRICARE Prime as early as next April.

This move could force as many as 171,000 retirees to shift to TRICARE Standard, which would mean an increase in out-of-pocket costs – especially those with special needs dependents or other chronic health issues.

It is important to note that active duty members and their families won’t be impacted. However, military retirees and their families are not the only ones to be hit by the move. Some drilling Guard and reserve members enrolled in TRICARE Reserve could also see increases in health costs.

It is being reported that “Congress is not expected to block this long-standing plan to tighten access to Prime if the intent is to hold down costs. Doing so likely would require lawmakers to find equivalent budget savings elsewhere.”

Many may find it disturbing that Defense officials delayed announcing this TRICARE change until after the election out of concern that it could be used by politicians.

The first round of Prime service changes is “tentatively” planned to go into effect in the TRICARE West region on April 1. The North and South regions will see the plan implemented by October 1, 2013.

First of all, the healthcare rates for military retirees and their families have gone up for the insurance they receive and is expected to continue to climb. In addition, the Catastrophic Cap for military retirees has dropped from $7500 to $3000.

Secondly, there are significant disadvantages to TRICARE Standard coverage. Here is a list of those disadvantages:

No Primary Care Manager
Patient pays Deductible and Co-payment
Patient pays balance if bill exceeds allowable charge and provider is a non-participant (up to 15% additional)
Nonavailability statement may be required for civilian inpatient care for areas surrounding Military Treatment Facilities
Beneficiaries may have to do their own paperwork and file their own claims

The Point of Service annual deductible and cost-share amounts do not count toward your enrollment-year maximum out-ofpocket expense, but instead are credited to your fiscal year maximum. There is no limit to the amount of a patients responsibility under the Point of Service option.

This is based on an article written by Tom Philpott. Here is a link to the article.
http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,251962,00.html

About Tom Philpott

Tom Philpott has been breaking news for and about military people since 1977. After service in the Coast Guard, and 17 years as a reporter and senior editor with Army Times Publishing Company, Tom launched "Military Update," his syndicated weekly news column, in 1994. "Military Update" features timely news and analysis on issues affecting active duty members, reservists, retirees and their families. Tom also edits a reader reaction column, "Military Forum." The online "home" for both features is Military.com.

Tom's freelance articles have appeared in numerous magazines including The New Yorker, Reader's Digest and Washingtonian.

To:
United States Congress
President of the United States
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives
Stop the proposed move of military retirees to TRICARE Standard

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 250 signatures
    2. What to do!

      Russ Fisher
      Petition Organizer

      Unfortunately, my friends, I do not believe our chances of allowing us to keep Tricare Prime is looking very good at this time.

      Does anyone have any suggestions?

    3. Supporters Response from Congresswoman Rodgers (Washington State)

      Russ Fisher
      Petition Organizer

      Here is a response from their Congresswoman, one of our supporters received. I removed their name to protect their identity. Congresswoman Rodgers is from the State of Washington. Unfortunately, I could not post the entire letter on this site. The full version is available on our Facebook page.

      https://www.facebook.com/veteransdeserveit?ref=hl

      Dear Mr. R

      Thank you for contacting me regarding TRICARE coverage. It is an honor to represent the people of Eastern Washington and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

      Like you, I believe that we have an obligation to uphold promises made to our nation's serving men and women, their families, and our veterans who have sacrificed so much to protect our nation. With my support, the House recently passed H.R. 5856, the Defense Appropriations Act for FY 2013, and H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2013.

      Stop The Move to Tricare Standard

      Defense officials are expected to soon announce that military retirees and their dependents that...

    4. Reached 200 signatures
    5. American Military Retirees Association Response

      Russ Fisher
      Petition Organizer

      (Truncated to save space)
      Hi Russell,
      We are pleased to see that you have found our site and we are happy to learn that we are working toward the same goals on TRICARE. These are perilous times for retiree benefits and the more of us that are banding together, the better.
      I must tell you that we do not have a U-tube video (you may have seen the Philipino American Military Retirees Association video but that is not ours and we are not affiliated). However you found us, we are glad you did. Indeed the 40-mile radius issue is just one of those we are working on, including physician reimbursement rates, prescription copays and many, many more. We appreciate your going to our site to send a message to your members of Congress and we hope many of your friends will as well. Many hands (and voices) make our job of communicating with Congress that much easier. Thank you for your service and for all you do for military retirees!
      Peg Bergeron, Executive Director
      American Military Retirees As.

    6. Response from Senator Sherrod Brown

      Russ Fisher
      Petition Organizer

      Here is the email response I received from Senator Sherrod Brown - Ohio:

      Dear Mr. Fisher:

      Thank you for sharing your concern about TRICARE fee increases.
      I share your concern and I agree that we must fulfill our promises to our nation's veterans. Expanding benefits, remedying payment and compensation discrepancies, and restoring compensation for our veterans are just three of the ways in which Congress and the American people can express their support for our nation's servicemembers.

      I have consistently fought against TRICARE fee increases, and I will continue to support measures that enhance active duty servicemembers’ and veterans' TRICARE benefits. While an amendment was introduced to the National Defense Authorization Act for the Fiscal Year 2012 that would have increased enrollment fees for TRICARE Prime, this amendment was not adopted.

      As relevant legislation comes before the Senate, I will keep your thoughts in mind. Thank you again for being in touch with me.

    7. Facebook

      Russ Fisher
      Petition Organizer
      Stop The Move to Tricare Standard

      Defense officials are expected to soon announce that military retirees and their dependents that...

    8. Military Officers Association of America protecting our Tricare Pharmacy

      Russ Fisher
      Petition Organizer
      Home Page : MOAA

      MOAA Today While the military community won't escape some cutbacks in this environment, it's important to urge elected and appointed officials to oppose disproportional cutbacks on the military community that has "already given" in so many ways. Is your state doing all it can to improve quality of life for military people -- retirees, veterans, spouses, and children?

    9. Protecting one’s rice bowl at the expense of our Veterans is unacceptable.

      Russ Fisher
      Petition Organizer
      Veterans Just Want Their Benefits for Christmas

      The holidays bring out the generosity of the American people - especially when it comes toward being generous to our troops. The gift boxes, the stockings, the cards - all good...and all very much appreciated. And when our troops cycle off active duty, they can expect a treasure trove

    10. "shift more Tricare costs to military retirees and their families"

      Russ Fisher
      Petition Organizer
      Congressional report suggests pay, benefit cuts

      http://www.navytimes.com/news/2012/11/military-report-compares-costs-of-pay-benefits-111412w/ Congressional report suggests pay, benefit cuts By Rick Maze - Staff writerPosted : Wednesday Nov 14, 2012 16:23:19 EST A new congressional report says military compensation programs are ripe for budget cuts because the services are having little problem recruiting or retaining qualified service members at a time when personnel costs are soaring.

    11. Facebook page!

      Russ Fisher
      Petition Organizer

      If you have signed the petition and you are on Facebook, here is a link to our page.

      https://www.facebook.com/veteransdeserveit

      Stop The Move to Tricare Standard

      Defense officials are expected to soon announce that military retirees and their dependents that...

    12. Hiking the out-of-pocket fees for retirees and some active-duty families

      Russ Fisher
      Petition Organizer

      Ezra Klein Misses Forest for Trees With Sequestration

      In a post published yesterday afternoon, Ezra Klein points readers to two graphs. The first relates to the sequestration cuts to defense. The second relates to cuts in non-defense discretionary spending. Klein's analysis hits some excellent points, but he missed six key components of the debate over cuts to defense and non-defense discretionary spending.

    13. Military pharmacy fees in 2013 to be decided in new few weeks

      Russ Fisher
      Petition Organizer

      TOM PHILPOTT | Congress to set TRICARE pharmacy increases

      The House and Senate will decide in the next few weeks how military pharmacy fees will be raised in 2013, a step that arguably will be the most significant taken to date to slow growth in military health care budgets.

    14. Talking Points

      Russ Fisher
      Petition Organizer

      I have been asked as to what someone should say when writing to our elected officials. Here are some suggestions:

      First off, If you are one of the ones that will be affected, I would state exactly how this will impact you and your families way of life.

      Second, if you are not one that is affected, I would state your personal feelings on how veterans are being treated, in regards to their benefits and the sacrifices they and their families have made defending this country.

      Finally, here are some talking points to highlight:

      *No Primary Care Manager
      *Patient pays Deductible and Co-payment
      *Patient pays balance if bill exceeds allowable charge and provider is a non-participant (up to 15% additional)
      *Nonavailability statement may be required for civilian inpatient care for areas surrounding Military Treatment Facilities
      *Beneficiaries may have to do their own paperwork and file their own claims

    15. We are beginning to grow!

      Russ Fisher
      Petition Organizer

      PLEASE make sure you share this information with your friends, email contacts, news media and anyone you can think of! We are starting to roll now.

    16. How to contact the President

      Russ Fisher
      Petition Organizer
      Write or Call the White House | The White House

      Write or Call the White House President Obama is committed to creating the most open and accessible administration in American history. That begins with taking comments and questions from you, the public, through our website.

    17. "limiting the TRICARE benefit for military retirees and their dependents"

      Russ Fisher
      Petition Organizer

      Cuts in federal pay and benefits are among deficit reduction possibilities

      Cuts in federal pay and benefits are among deficit reduction possibilities

      Torian/Shutterstock.com Reducing certain pay and benefits for the federal workforce could cut the deficit by $38 billion in 2020, according to a new analysis of the country's fiscal crisis from the Congressional Budget Office. Lawmakers have a range of options for cutting spending and increasing revenues to rein in the government's current trillion-dollar deficit, CBO said.

    18. Here is a standup Congressman, Nick Rahall

      Russ Fisher
      Petition Organizer
      Veterans Owed Best Possible Assistance

      WELCH, W.Va. - In remarks delivered Monday afternoon at the annual Veterans and Businessmen's luncheon at the National Guard Armory in Welch, U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) called for enhancing critical programs and support services that aid our Nation's Veterans when they leave military service.

    19. Facebook page has been started!

      Russ Fisher
      Petition Organizer

      I have started a Facebook page for this great cause, we have undertaken.
      I will post updates on that page as well. Please click the link or copy and paste to your web browser and Like the page.

      Thanks,

      Russ

      https://www.facebook.com/veteransdeserveit#

      United States Congress: Stop the proposed move of military retirees to TRICARE Standard

      Of all days to learn of this intent by our elected leaders, it would be Veterans Day. Defense officials are expected to soon announce that military retirees and their dependents that live more than 40 miles from a military treatment facility or BRAC (base closure) site will lose access to TRICARE Prime as early as next April.

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Sheila Hall Hipp WINSTON SALEM, NC
      • 9 months ago

      It is wrong to take benefits from retired military service men and women who gave of their life for America's freedom.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • David Black PHOENIX, AZ
      • 11 months ago

      Retirees do not have the funds for the cost increases. Most are on a budget.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Eric Combs TIPP CITY, OH
      • 11 months ago

      After serving 20 years Enlisted I know how hard I worked for my benefits. Why would they cut us now?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Robert Gonion NAMPA, ID
      • 11 months ago

      Since the 1970's Veterans have lost more benefits than anyone else.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Marvin House KNOXVILLE, TN
      • 11 months ago

      Why do they keep taking veterans benefits away?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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